(Yicai Global) Nov. 3 -- China aims to complete its first sea-launch for its commercial Long March rockets next year in response to client demands, state-run Xinhua News Agency cited China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. deputy general manager, Yang Baohua, as saying yesterday.
The firm currently launches rockets from on-land sites in Jiuquan, Taiyuan, Xichang, and Wenchang.
"Facing demands for low-cost and quickly-prepared commercial rocket launch services, CASC will strive to offer diversified solutions," said Yang. The company offers launch services for low-orbit, small-size rockets.
CASC aims to reduce prices for low-orbit launches to USD5,000 per kilogram and cut preparation times to one week.
The firm will conduct tests of key sea-launch technologies for Long March models this year, and expects to start offering such services for international commercial clients next year, said deputy director of astronavigation, Tang Yagang.
Long March rockets will be capable of sending 500-kilogram satellites into orbits with an inclination of 0-10 degrees and at a height of 500 kilometers.
Many equatorial countries have seen rapidly increasing demand for launch services for low-inclination satellites in recent years. Pay-load carriers launched close to the equator suffer fewer losses in their loading capacity and a cheaper price.
"It is not technologically hard to achieve sea launch capabilities, as the launch platform can be built by remolding ordinary 10,000-ton cargo vessels, and we can use solid rockets that are less dependent on launch devices with relatively mature technologies," added Tang.