Encyclopedia Astronautica
CZ-3C



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CZ-3C
CZ-3C model exhibited at UN exhibit, Vienna, 2011
Credit: © Mark Wade
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LM-3C Launch Vehicle
Long March LM-3C launch vehicle on the pad.
Chinese orbital launch vehicle. Launch vehicle combining CZ-3B core with two boosters from CZ-2E. The standard fairing was 9.56 m long, 4.0 m in diameter. On August 23, 2001, the CZ-3C launcher passed its critical design review. CZ-3C development had begun in 1995 but was suspended in 1996-2000 due to the 1996 CZ-3B failure. First launch was in 2008.

Launch sequence:

Event                                     TIME (sec.)
 First Stage Ignition                          -3
 Liftoff                                        0.00
 Pitch over                                    11.0
 Booster Separation                           127.24
 First/Second Stage Separation                147.36
 Jettisoning of Fairing                       232.4
 2nd/3rd Stage Sep. & 3rd Stage Ignition      332.31
 1st Shutoff of 3rd Stage                     631.32
 2nd Ignition of 3rd Stage                   1281.23
 2nd Shutoff of Third Stage                  1459.91
 Satellite/Launcher Sep.                     1559.907

Payload: 3,800 kg (8,300 lb) to a GTO (200 x 35,793 km 28 deg). Launch Price $: 75.000 million in 1999 dollars.

Stage Data - CZ-3C

  • Stage 0. 2 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: Long March 3C; Chang Zheng-3C.
Status: Development ended 1997.
Gross mass: 345,000 kg (760,000 lb).
Payload: 3,800 kg (8,300 lb).
Height: 54.80 m (179.70 ft).
Diameter: 3.35 m (10.99 ft).
Thrust: 4,440.00 kN (998,150 lbf).
First Launch: 2008.04.25.
Last Launch: 2011.07.11.
Number: 6 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Beidou Chinese navigation satellite. Operational, first launch 2000.10.30. Beidou ('Big Dipper') was the satellite component of an independent Chinese satellite navigation and positioning system. 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 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-3C Chronology


2008 April 25 - . 15:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3C. LV Configuration: CZ-3C s/n CZ3C1.
  • Tian Lian 1 - . Payload: DFH 76. Mass: 3,000 kg (6,600 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 32779 . COSPAR: 2008-019A. Apogee: 35,806 km (22,248 mi). Perigee: 35,768 km (22,225 mi). Inclination: 0.4000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. China's first in a series of new data relay satellites, and the first launch of the CZ-3C, a variant of the Long March with two liquid strap-ons. The satellite will relay data from Chinese manned and military satellites, beginning with the Shenzhou mission, from geostationary orbit at 77 deg E. Configuration unknown, but possibly based on the DFH-4 platform.

2010 January 16 - . 16:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3C. LV Configuration: CZ-3C s/n CZ3C3.
  • Beidou G3 - . Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Spacecraft: Beidou. USAF Sat Cat: 36287 . COSPAR: 2010-001A. Apogee: 35,972 km (22,351 mi). Perigee: 35,600 km (22,100 mi). Inclination: 1.8000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min.

2010 June 2 - . 15:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3C. LV Configuration: CZ-3C s/n CZ3C4.
  • Beidou G4 - . Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Beidou. USAF Sat Cat: 36590 . COSPAR: 2010-024A. Apogee: 35,796 km (22,242 mi). Perigee: 35,776 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 1.8000 deg. Period: 1,436.00 min.

2010 October 1 - . 11:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3C.
  • Chang'e 2 - . Payload: Chang'e 2. Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Spacecraft: Chang'e. USAF Sat Cat: 37174 . COSPAR: 2010-050A. China's second lunar orbiter. Entered a 119 x 8599 km lunar orbit on 1 October at 03:14 GMT. By 9 October it had maneuvered to its operational 100-km circular lunar orbit. On 9 June 2011, its lunar mission complete, it was maneuvered out of lunar orbit, and arrived at the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrangian point on 25 August 2011.

2010 October 31 - . 16:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3C.
  • Beidou G4 - . Payload: Beidou DW6. Nation: China. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Beidou. USAF Sat Cat: 37210 . COSPAR: 2010-057A. Apogee: 35,793 km (22,240 mi). Perigee: 35,781 km (22,233 mi). Inclination: 1.6000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Navigation satellite..

2011 July 11 - . 15:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3C.
  • Tianlian 1-02 - . Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 37737 . COSPAR: 2011-032A. Apogee: 35,804 km (22,247 mi). Perigee: 35,769 km (22,225 mi). Inclination: 0.8000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Data relay satellite to support the Shenzhou-Tiangong docking mission and later manned space station missions..

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