Encyclopedia Astronautica
CZ-3B



cz3b.jpg
CZ-3B
lm3bs2.jpg
LM-3B Cutaway
Cutaway view of LM-3B launch vehicle.
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CZ-3B failure
Chinese orbital launch vehicle. The Long March 3B was the most powerful Long March launch vehicle. It could inject a 5,000 kg payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit. The CZ-3B was developed on the basis of the CZ-3A, but had enlarged propellant tanks, larger fairing, and four boosters strapped onto the core stage. The CZ-3B boosters were identical to those of the CZ-3A.

LEO Payload: 11,200 kg (24,600 lb) to a 200 km orbit at 28.50 degrees. Payload: 5,100 kg (11,200 lb) to a GTO. Failures: 1. First Fail Date: 1996-02-14. Last Fail Date: 1996-02-14. Launch Price $: 70.000 million in 1999 dollars.

Stage Data - CZ-3B

  • Stage 0. 4 x CZ-2E-0. Gross Mass: 41,000 kg (90,000 lb). Empty Mass: 3,200 kg (7,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 816.285 kN (183,508 lbf). Isp: 291 sec. Burn time: 128 sec. Isp(sl): 261 sec. Diameter: 2.25 m (7.38 ft). Span: 2.26 m (7.41 ft). Length: 15.33 m (50.29 ft). Propellants: N2O4/UDMH. No Engines: 1. Engine: YF-20B. Other designations: LB-40. Status: In Production.
  • Stage 1. 1 x CZ-3A-1. Gross Mass: 179,000 kg (394,000 lb). Empty Mass: 9,000 kg (19,800 lb). Thrust (vac): 3,265.143 kN (734,033 lbf). Isp: 289 sec. Burn time: 155 sec. Isp(sl): 259 sec. Diameter: 3.35 m (10.99 ft). Span: 7.00 m (22.90 ft). Length: 23.08 m (75.72 ft). Propellants: N2O4/UDMH. No Engines: 4. Engine: YF-20B. Other designations: L-180. Status: In Production.
  • Stage 2. 1 x CZ-2C/SD-2. Gross Mass: 55,000 kg (121,000 lb). Empty Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 761.900 kN (171,282 lbf). Isp: 298 sec. Burn time: 190 sec. Isp(sl): 270 sec. Diameter: 3.35 m (10.99 ft). Span: 3.35 m (10.99 ft). Length: 10.00 m (32.00 ft). Propellants: N2O4/UDMH. No Engines: 1. Engine: YF-22A/23A. Other designations: L-35. Status: In Production. Comments: Stretched version of CZ-2C second stage. Empty mass estimated.
  • Stage 3. 1 x CZ-3A-3. Gross Mass: 21,000 kg (46,000 lb). Empty Mass: 2,800 kg (6,100 lb). Thrust (vac): 156.000 kN (35,070 lbf). Isp: 440 sec. Burn time: 470 sec. Diameter: 3.00 m (9.80 ft). Span: 3.00 m (9.80 ft). Length: 12.38 m (40.60 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 2. Engine: YF-75. Other designations: H-18. Status: In Production.

AKA: Chang Zheng 3B; Long March 3B; Chang Zheng-3B.
Status: Active.
Gross mass: 425,800 kg (938,700 lb).
Payload: 11,200 kg (24,600 lb).
Height: 54.80 m (179.70 ft).
Diameter: 3.35 m (10.99 ft).
Thrust: 2,980.00 kN (669,930 lbf).
Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).
First Launch: 1996.02.14.
Last Launch: 2011.10.07.
Number: 17 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • FS-1300 American communications satellite bus. Operational, first launch 1989.06.05. More...
  • AS 2100 American communications satellite. Operational, first launch 1996.09.08 (GE 1). Cost per satellite $100 million for the spacecraft including ground support equipment, but not including launch costs. 3-axis stabilized. More...
  • Spacebus 4000 European communications satellite bus. Operational, first launch 2005.02.03. The Spacebus 4000 represented a new larger platform to meet customer demand. More...
  • DFH-4 Large Chinese communications satellite bus using a blend of Chinese and subcontracted European technologies. Operational, first launch on 2006.10.28 (Xinnuo 2). More...

Associated Engines
  • YF-20B Beijing Wan Yuan N2O4/UDMH rocket engine. 816.3 kN. In production. Isp=289s. Boosted CZ-2C, CZ-2D, CZ-2E, CZ-2E(A), CZ-3A, CZ-3B, CZ-3C, CZ-4A. First flight 1988. More...
  • YF-25/23 Beijing Wan Yuan N2O4/UDMH rocket engine. 831 kN. In production. Cluster of YF-25 and 4 x YF-23 verniers. Isp=295s. First stage engine for CZ-2D, CZ-2E, CZ-2E(A), CZ-3A, CZ-3B, CZ-3C, CZ-4A. First flight 1988. More...
  • YF-75 Beijing Wan Yuan lox/lh2 rocket engine. 78.5 kN. In development. Gas-generator turbopump. Gimballed engine. Isp=440s. First flight 1994. More...

See also
  • CZ China's first ICBM, the DF-5, first flew in 1971. It was a two-stage storable-propellant rocket in the same class as the American Titan, the Russian R-36, or the European Ariane. The DF-5 spawned a long series of Long March ("Chang Zheng") CZ-2, CZ-3, and CZ-4 launch vehicles. These used cryogenic engines for upper stages and liquid-propellant strap-on motors to create a family of 12 Long-March rocket configurations capable of placing up to 9,200 kg into orbit. In 2000 China began development of a new generation of expendable launch vehicles using non-toxic, high-performance propellants with supposedly lower operating costs. However these encountered development delays, and it seemed the reliable Long March series of rockets would continue in operational use for nearly fifty years before being replaced. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • CALT Chinese manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, Beijing, China. More...

Associated Programs
  • Chinastar Zhongxing and Zhongwei (Chinastar) communications satellites were orbited by China Orient Telecommunications Satellite Company, part of the Chinese telecommunications ministry. A combination of indigenous and foreign satellites are used. Zhongxing 1 to 4 were apparently some of the earlier DFH-2 and DFH-3 satellites (although more than four reached geosynchronous orbit). Zhongxing 5 was the former Spacenet 1. More...
  • Intelsat Intelsat operated the world's first commercial communications satellite. It has provided the scheduled transoceanic television and voice and data communications service ever since. More...
  • Sinosat Communications satellite network operated by Sino Satellite Communications Company of Shanghai for communications services in China. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Xichang China's launch site for geosynchronous orbit launches. Xichang Satellite Launch Centre is situated in Xichang, Sichuan Province, south-western China. The launch pad is at 102.0 degrees East and 28.2 degrees North. The head office of the launch centre is located in Xichang City, about 65 kilometers away. Xichang Airport is 50 km away. A dedicated railway and highway lead directly to the launch site. More...

Associated Stages
  • CZ H-18 Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 21,000/2,800 kg. Thrust 156.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 440 seconds. More...
  • CZ-2C/SD-2 N2O4/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 55,000/5,000 kg. Thrust 761.90 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 298 seconds. Stretched version of CZ-2C second stage. Empty mass estimated. More...
  • CZ-3A-1 N2O4/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 179,000/9,000 kg. Thrust 3,265.14 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 289 seconds. More...
  • LB-40 N2O4/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 41,000/3,200 kg. Thrust 816.29 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 291 seconds. More...

CZ-3B Chronology


1996 February 14 - . 19:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 3B CZ3B-1 (40). FAILURE: Guidance failure resulted in launch vehicle crashing 22 seconds after launch, killing or injuring 59 people.. Failed Stage: G.
  • Intelsat 708 - . Nation: International. Agency: PRC. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: FS-1300. COSPAR: F960214A. First attempted launch of a new version in the Long March family. Began to experience an anomaly in attitude about 2 seconds after launch, pitching down and yawing to the right. It augured in nose down at T+22 seconds and exploded violently, utterly destroying the launcher and its payload. The Chief-Designer of the launch vehicle organised an analysis team on the same day of the accident. Interpretation and analysis of the telemetered data indicated that the crash was caused by a change in the inertial reference. The explosion killed six and injured 57. Two of the killed were senior engineers with CASC.

1997 August 19 - . 17:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 3B CZ3B-2 (46).
  • Agila 2 - . Payload: Mabuhay. Nation: Philippines. Agency: MPSC. Manufacturer: Palo Alto. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: FS-1300. USAF Sat Cat: 24901 . COSPAR: 1997-042A. Apogee: 35,803 km (22,246 mi). Perigee: 35,771 km (22,227 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Summary: Geosynchronous. Stationed over 146.0E Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 146 deg E in 1997-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 145.99 deg E drifting at 0.009 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 145.98E drifting at 0.017W degrees per day..

1997 October 16 - . 19:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 3B CZ3B-3 (48).
  • Apstar 2R - . Nation: China. Agency: APT. Manufacturer: Palo Alto. Program: Apstar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: FS-1300. USAF Sat Cat: 25010 . COSPAR: 1997-062A. Apogee: 35,798 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,774 km (22,228 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Geosynchronous. Stationed over 76.5E Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 76 deg E in 1997-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 76.48 deg E drifting at 0.001 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 76.46E drifting at 0.002W degrees per day..

1998 May 30 - . 10:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 3B CZ3B-4 (52).
  • Zhongwei 1 - . Nation: China. Agency: Chinasat. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Chinastar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 2100. USAF Sat Cat: 25354 . COSPAR: 1998-033A. Apogee: 35,798 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,777 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Also known as Chinastar 1; comsat to serve China, India, Korea and Southeast Asia with 18 C-band and 20 Ku-band transponders. Operated by the China Orient Telecommunications Satellite Company, part of the Chinese telecommunications ministry. Zhongwei 1 and the CZ-3B's final liquid hydrogen upper stage were placed in an initial supersynchronous 216 x 85,035 km x 24.4 deg transfer orbit. Geostationary at 87.6 degrees E. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 87 deg E in 1998-1999 As of 6 September 2001 located at 87.49 deg E drifting at 0.013 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 87.64E drifting at 0.010W degrees per day.

1998 July 18 - . 09:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 3B CZ3B-5 (53).
  • Sinosat - . Mass: 2,820 kg (6,210 lb). Nation: China. Agency: Eurasspa. Manufacturer: Cannes. Program: Sinosat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Spacebus 3000 . USAF Sat Cat: 25404 . COSPAR: 1998-044A. Apogee: 35,795 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,779 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. The CZ-3B's liquid hydrogen upper stage and the Sinosat were placed in a 609 x 35958 km x 19.0 deg geostationary transfer orbit at 09:45 GMT. The first two liquid apogee burns were carried out on July 19 and 21. Sinosat, an Alcatel Spacebus 3000, was built in Cannes and owned temporarily by EurasSpace, a joint venture between Daimler-Benz Aerospace and the China Aerospace Corporation. After on-orbit testing it was delivered to the Sino Satellite Communications Company of Shanghai for communications services in China. The satellite carried 24 C-band transponders and 14 Ku-band transponders which covered the entire Asia-Pacific region. With a design life span of 15 years, the satellite was to provide multiple data transfer services for China's financial and air transportation control systems, as well as the Shanghai Information Port project, Sinosat operated in geosynchronous orbit at 110.5 deg E in 1998-1999. As of 5 September 2001 located at 110.55 deg E drifting at 0.012 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 110.51E drifting at 0.001W degrees per day.

2005 April 12 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 3B CZ3B (84).
  • APSTAR 6 - . Payload: Apstar 5B / Spacebus 4000C2. Mass: 4,680 kg (10,310 lb). Nation: China. Agency: APT. Program: Apstar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Spacebus 4000. USAF Sat Cat: 28638 . COSPAR: 2005-012A. Apogee: 35,795 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,778 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.0200 deg. Period: 1,436.09 min. Summary: Delayed from November, December 4, 2004. Ku and C band transponders. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 133.99E drifting at 0.013W degrees per day..

2006 October 28 - . 16:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 3B CZ3B (93).
  • Xinnuo 2 - . Payload: Sinosat-2. Mass: 5,100 kg (11,200 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 29516 . COSPAR: 2006-048A. Apogee: 35,911 km (22,314 mi). Perigee: 35,675 km (22,167 mi). Inclination: 0.0600 deg. Period: 1,436.44 min. First DH-4 heavy Chinese communication satellite with communications equipment provided by Alcatel Alenia. Mission failed when solar panels and antennae failed to deploy in geosynchronous orbit. This was a blow to China's prestige, since the satellite was an important part of the 2008 Beijing Olympics coverage plans. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 91.80E drifting at 0.093W degrees per day.

2007 May 13 - . 16:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 3B CZ3B (98).
  • Nigcomsat 1 - . Mass: 5,150 kg (11,350 lb). Nation: Nigeria. Agency: NCS. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 31395 . COSPAR: 2007-018A. Apogee: 35,789 km (22,238 mi). Perigee: 35,782 km (22,233 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Second DFH-4 communications satellite; China's first commercial payload sale, and Nigeria's first commercial communications satellite. Positioned at 42.5 deg E. Payload consisted of 4 C-band, 14 Ku-band, 8 Ka-band, and 2 L-band transponders. The antenna subsystem consisted of seven antennas.

2007 July 5 - . 12:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 3B CZ3B (101).
  • Chinasat 6B - . Payload: Spacebus 4000C2. Mass: 4,600 kg (10,100 lb). Nation: China. Agency: ChinaSatCom. Manufacturer: Alenia. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Spacebus 4000. USAF Sat Cat: 31800 . COSPAR: 2007-031A. Apogee: 35,797 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,775 km (22,229 mi). Inclination: 0.0200 deg. Period: 1,436.07 min. Summary: Direct broadcast satellite, capable of transmitting 300 television channels using 38 transponders. To be positioned at 115.5 deg E, beaming signals to China, Southeast Asia, and Oceania. Planned mission life 15 years..

2008 June 9 - . 12:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3B.
  • Zhongxing 9 - . Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Spacebus 4000. USAF Sat Cat: 33051 . COSPAR: 2008-028A. Apogee: 35,804 km (22,247 mi). Perigee: 35,770 km (22,220 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Launched to support Olympic games; 22 J-band transponders; positioned at 92.2 deg E..

2008 October 29 - . 16:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3B. LV Configuration: CZ-3B s/n CZ3B11.
  • Simon Bolivar - . Mass: 5,100 kg (11,200 lb). Nation: Venezuela. Agency: SISE. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 33414 . COSPAR: 2008-055A. Apogee: 35,797 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,777 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.2000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Venezuela's first satellite, a Chinese-built DFH-4 communications satellit with C-band and Ku-band transponders..

2009 August 31 - . 09:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3B. LV Configuration: CZ-3B s/n CZ3B12.
  • Palapa D - . Payload: Spacebus 4000B3. Mass: 4,100 kg (9,000 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Program: Palapa. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft: Spacebus 4000. USAF Sat Cat: 35812 . COSPAR: 2009-046A. Apogee: 35,795 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,779 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Early third stage cutoff left spacecraft in sub-geostationary transfer orbit of 217 km x 21,138 km at 22.4 deg inclination. It used its on-board system to reach an operational orbit, albeit with reduced life due to the propellant consumption..

2010 September 4 - . 16:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3B.
  • Chinasat 6A - . Payload: Zhongxing 6A. Mass: 5,100 kg (11,200 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 37150 . COSPAR: 2010-042A. Apogee: 35,795 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,778 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: C and Ku band communications transponders..

2011 June 20 - . 16:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3B. LV Configuration: CZ-3B(E).
  • Zhongxing-10 - . Payload: Chinasat 10. Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: China. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 37677 . COSPAR: 2011-026A. Apogee: 35,812 km (22,252 mi). Perigee: 35,764 km (22,222 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Summary: Chinese communications satellite, stationed over 103.5 deg E. AKA ChinaSat 10, Xinnuo-5, and Sinosat-5..

2011 August 11 - . 16:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3B.
  • Paksat 1R - . Mass: 5,120 kg (11,280 lb). Nation: Pakistan. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 37779 . COSPAR: 2011-042A. Apogee: 35,793 km (22,240 mi). Perigee: 35,779 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.00 min. Summary: Communications satellite to replace Paksat 1, the former Palapa C1..

2011 September 17 - . 16:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3B.
  • Chinasat 1A - . Nation: China. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 37804 . COSPAR: 2011-047A. Apogee: 35,794 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,781 km (22,233 mi). Inclination: 0.5000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Military communications satellite..

2011 October 7 - . 08:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3B. LV Configuration: CZ-3B(E).
  • Eutelsat W3C - . Payload: Spacebus 4000C3. Mass: 5,400 kg (11,900 lb). Nation: Europe. Program: Eutelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft: Spacebus 4000. USAF Sat Cat: 37836 . COSPAR: 2011-057A. Apogee: 35,791 km (22,239 mi). Perigee: 35,781 km (22,233 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Communications satellite..

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