Encyclopedia Astronautica
CZ-4B


Chinese orbital launch vehicle. The CZ-4B introduced in 1999 was an improved model of the CZ-4B with an enhanced third stage and fairing. It measured 44.1 metres in length with a first stage thrust of 300 tonnes.

3 stage vehicle consisting of 1 x CZ-4 stage 1 + 1 x CZ-4 stage 2 + 1 x CZ-4B stage 3

LEO Payload: 2,800 kg (6,100 lb). Payload: 2,800 kg (6,100 lb) to a 900 km SSO. Launch Price $: 35.000 million in 1999 dollars.

AKA: Chang Zheng 4B; Long March 4B; Chang Zheng-4B.
Status: Active.
Gross mass: 249,200 kg (549,300 lb).
Payload: 2,800 kg (6,100 lb).
Height: 45.80 m (150.20 ft).
Diameter: 3.35 m (10.99 ft).
Thrust: 2,960.00 kN (665,430 lbf).
Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).
First Launch: 1999.05.10.
Last Launch: 2011.08.17.
Number: 16 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • SJ Chinese communications technology satellite. First launch 1979.07.28. SJ (Shijian) series were Chinese scientific research, technological experiment and military operational satellites of a variety of configurations. More...
  • FY-1 Chinese earth weather satellite. 4 launches, 1988.09.06 (FY-1A) to 2002.05.15 (SJ-6A). The Feng Yun 1 meteorological satellites were launched into sun-synchronous 900 km, 99 deg inclination orbits by CZ-4 boosters from Taiyuan. More...
  • ZY Chinese earth land resources satellite. 6 launches, 1999.10.14 (ZY-1) to 2007.09.19 (ZY-2C). From 1985 China and Brazil jointly developed a sun synchronous imaging satellite bus, the Zi Yuan-1 (Resouce-1) based on the Shi Jian 3 design. More...
  • SACI Brazilian technology satellite. 2 launches, 1999.10.14 (SACI 1) and 1999.12.11 (SACI-2). INPE experimental scientific satellites; carried a magnetometer, particle detectors and an atmospheric experiment. More...
  • HY-1 Chinese earth land resources satellite. Operational, launched from 2002.05.15 (Hai Yang 1). More...
  • CX-1 Chinese communications technology satellite. 2 launches, 2003.10.21 (CX-1) and 2008.11.05 (Chuanxin-1-02). More...
  • SJ-6 Chinese military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Operational, first launch 2004.09.08. More...
  • Yaogan Chinese synthetic aperture radar military surveillance radar and ELINT satellite. Operational, first launch 2006.04.26. 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
  • Taiyuan China's launch site for launch of polar orbiting satellites, also known as Wuzhai. Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center (TSLC) is situated in Kelan County, the northwest part of Shanxi Province, 280 km by road from Taiyuan City. More...

Associated Stages
  • CZ-4B-2 N2O4/UDMH rocket stage. 742.00 kN (166,808 lbf) thrust. Mass 39,600 kg (87,303 lb). More...
  • CZ-4B-3 N2O4/UDMH rocket stage. 98.10 kN (22,054 lbf) thrust. Mass 15,200 kg (33,510 lb). More...
  • CZ-4A-1 N2O4/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 192,700/9,500 kg. Thrust 3,265.14 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 289 seconds. More...

CZ-4B Chronology


1999 May 10 - . 01:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 4B CZ4B-1 (56).
  • FY-1C - . Payload: Feng Yun 1C. Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Manufacturer: Shanghai Institute of Satellite Engineering. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: FY-1. USAF Sat Cat: 25730 . COSPAR: 1999-025A. Apogee: 880 km (540 mi). Perigee: 846 km (525 mi). Inclination: 98.8000 deg. Period: 102.20 min. Summary: Operational weather satellite. First launch of stretched CZ-4B booster. After retirement the satellite was destroyed in the first test of the Chinese ASAT weapon on 11 January 2007..
  • SJ-5 - . Payload: Shi Jian 5. Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Manufacturer: Shanghai Institute of Satellite Engineering. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: SJ. USAF Sat Cat: 25731 . COSPAR: 1999-025B. Apogee: 865 km (537 mi). Perigee: 841 km (522 mi). Inclination: 98.9000 deg. Period: 102.00 min. Summary: Research satellite carried as a secondary payload to study the radiation belts..

1999 October 14 - . 03:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 4B CZ4B-2 (58).
  • ZY-1 - . Payload: Zi Yuan 1. Mass: 1,540 kg (3,390 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Manufacturer: CAST; INP. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft: ZY. USAF Sat Cat: 25940 . COSPAR: 1999-057A. Apogee: 780 km (480 mi). Perigee: 773 km (480 mi). Inclination: 98.2000 deg. Period: 100.40 min. China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite. China's first earth resources satellite, known as ZY-1, weighed 1,540 kilograms. Chief designer was Chen Yiyuan. The satellite, a joint project of China and Brazil, was designed to gather information on the environment, agriculture and urban planning through remote sensing images and data transmitted to China, Brazil and other countries. Planned lifetime was two years. The satellite circled the Earth 14 times a day and the groundtrack repeated after 26 days. By 23 February 2000 it had taken more than 20,000 high quality images. It was formally handed over for operational use on March 2 2000. The High Resolution CCD Camera had a resolution of 20 meters in the visible spectrum. The camera could point up to 32 degrees to either side of vertical, imaging the earth's surface stereoscopically. After 177 days the Wide Field Imager failed in early May 2000. Other devices, including the high resolution CCD camera, continue to work normally.
  • SACI 1 - . Nation: Brazil. Agency: SISE. Manufacturer: INPE. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: SACI. USAF Sat Cat: 25941 . COSPAR: 1999-057B. Apogee: 731 km (454 mi). Perigee: 719 km (446 mi). Inclination: 98.7000 deg. Period: 99.30 min. Summary: INPE experimental scientific satellite with a magnetometer, particle detectors and an atmospheric experiment. INPE reportedly lost contact with the satellite in mid-October..

2000 September 1 - . 03:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 4B CZ4B-3 (62).
  • ZY-2 - . Payload: Zi Yuan 2. Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Manufacturer: CAST. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: ZY. USAF Sat Cat: 26481 . COSPAR: 2000-050A. Apogee: 501 km (311 mi). Perigee: 489 km (303 mi). Inclination: 97.4000 deg. Period: 94.43 min. The ZY-2 (Ziyuan-2 ('Resource-2'), while disguised as a civilian earth monitoring system, was actually code-named Jianbing-3 and was China's first high-resolution military imaging satellite. The cover story of the official Xinhua news agency was that the civilian remote sensing system would be used primarily in territorial surveying, city planning, crop yield assessment, disaster monitoring and space science experimentation. However the satellite was placed at a much lower altitude than the ZY-1 satellite and US intelligence sources indicated that it was a photo-reconnaissance satellite for exclusively military purposes, such as targeting missiles at US and Taiwanese forces. The new satellite was believed to employ digital-imaging technology and to have a resolution of 2 m or less. The satellite was designed and built by the Chinese Academy of Space Technology and was developed indigenously. It was said to be more advanced than earlier sensing satellites and was expected to have an orbital life of two years. The camera provided more than three times the resolution of the ZY-1 earth resources satellite. The Zi Yuan 2 satellite may have used the CBERS Sino-Brazilian bus of the earlier ZY-1. However it was also said to be of new design and demonstrated the capability to maneuver in orbit, adjusting its orbit after launch. In October 2000 Chinese scientists denied that the ZY-2 satellite had a military mission. It was said to be a remote-sensing satellite equipped with CCD cameras and an infrared multispectral scanner that could only identify objects on the ground with a resolution of several dozen meters to 1 km.

2002 May 15 - . 01:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 4B CZ4B-4 (67).
  • Haiyang 1 - . Mass: 360 kg (790 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft: HY-1. USAF Sat Cat: 27430 . COSPAR: 2002-024A. Apogee: 799 km (496 mi). Perigee: 785 km (487 mi). Inclination: 98.4000 deg. Period: 100.70 min. The HY-1 (Haiyang-1) marine observation satellite separated shortly after the FY-1D. The 360 kg HY-1 was based on the SJ-5 bus and carried an IR radiometer and CCD imager for oceanographic studies. Between May 21 and May 26, HY-1 lowered its orbit to 793 x 799 km using on-board propulsion.
  • Feng Yun 1D - . Mass: 960 kg (2,110 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: FY-1. USAF Sat Cat: 27431 . COSPAR: 2002-024B. Apogee: 873 km (542 mi). Perigee: 850 km (520 mi). Inclination: 98.7000 deg. Period: 102.20 min. The second stage separated six minutes after launch, putting the stack on a suborbital trajectory. After a brief coast up to 860 km the third stage fired at around 0200 UTC to circularize the orbit. FY-1D, a 950 kg weather satellite with a 10-channel radiometer, separated from the stack followed by a small adapter. The final stage was left in a slightly lower 812 x 883 km orbit.

2002 October 27 - . 03:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 4B CZ4B-5 (68).
  • ZY-2 - . Payload: Zi Yuan 2-2. Nation: China. Agency: CAST. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: ZY. USAF Sat Cat: 27550 . COSPAR: 2002-049A. Apogee: 483 km (300 mi). Perigee: 470 km (290 mi). Inclination: 97.4000 deg. Period: 94.10 min. JB-3 2 was nominally a Chinese (PRC) remote sensing satellite, although US intelligence sources indicated it had primarily an intelligence imaging mission. JB-3 2 was the name adopted by the USSPACECOM. Most news reports from China and elsewhere use different names: ZY-2B (acronym for ZiYuan-2B, translated as Resource-2B), and Zhong Guo Zi Yuan Er Hao, translated as China Resource 2. No information was available on the instruments onboard the JB-3 2, but officially it was intended 'for territorial survey, environment monitoring and protection, urban planning, crop yield assessment, disaster monitoring, and space scientific experiments'. The initial orbital parameters of this sun-synchronous satellite were period 94.1 min, apogee 483 km, perigee 470 km, and inclination 97.4.

2003 October 21 - . 03:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 4B CZ4B-6 (72).
  • ZY-1-2 (CBERS-2) - . Payload: Zi Yuan 1B. Mass: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CAS. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft: ZY. USAF Sat Cat: 28057 . COSPAR: 2003-049A. Apogee: 750 km (460 mi). Perigee: 731 km (454 mi). Inclination: 98.5000 deg. Period: 99.60 min. Summary: Delayed from late 2001, September 3 2002, March 14 and September 2003. Second China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite (CBERS 2)..
  • CX-1 - . Payload: Chuang Xin 1. Nation: China. Agency: CAS. Class: Technology. Type: Communications technology satellite. Spacecraft: CX-1. USAF Sat Cat: 28058 . COSPAR: 2003-049B. Apogee: 759 km (471 mi). Perigee: 686 km (426 mi). Inclination: 98.5000 deg. Period: 99.20 min. Chuangxin-1 (or Innovation-1) was China's first experimental small satellite for store-and-forward short message data communications in low Earth orbit. With a mass less than 100 kg, the Chuangxin-1 was developed in light of national strategic demands. Starting from 1999 with support of the national Knowledge Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the project was carried out jointly by researchers from the CAS Shanghai Institute of Microsystem Information Technology and the CAS Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics. The satellite used spread spectrum communication and subsystems included a communication transponder, onboard computer, attitude control, energy source, thermal control, and structure. The mission was to demonstrate data communications for such sectors as traffic and transportation, environment protection, oil and gas transportation, flood and drought control, detection of forest fire and earthquake monitoring.

2004 September 8 - . 23:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 4B CZ4B-7 (79).
  • SJ-6A - . Payload: Shi Jian 6B. Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: SJ-6. USAF Sat Cat: 28413 . COSPAR: 2004-035A. Apogee: 593 km (368 mi). Perigee: 578 km (359 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.40 min. It was announced that the two satellites had a design life of at least two years, and would be used to probe the space environment, radiation and its effects, record space physical environment parameters, and conduct other related space experiments. The two satellites were built by the Shanghai Academy of Space Flight Technology and Dongfanghong Satellite Company under subcontract to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. The scientific instruments aboard the satellites were mainly manufactured by the China Electronics Technology Corporation. Some Western observors believed the mission of the satellites included electronic intelligence technology tests.
  • SJ-6B - . Payload: Shi Jian 6A. Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: SJ-6. USAF Sat Cat: 28414 . COSPAR: 2004-035B. Apogee: 602 km (374 mi). Perigee: 593 km (368 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.60 min. Summary: CAST968 platform. Released one minute after SJ-6A..

2004 November 6 - . 03:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 4B CZ4B-8 (82).
  • ZY-2C - . Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft: ZY. USAF Sat Cat: 28470 . COSPAR: 2004-044A. Apogee: 504 km (313 mi). Perigee: 479 km (297 mi). Inclination: 97.3000 deg. Period: 94.40 min. Summary: Zi Yuan 2-3 was a low earth orbit digital imaging spacecraft used by the Chinese government, probably for both civilian and military reconnaissance purposes..

2006 April 26 - . 22:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 4B CZ4B-9 (89).
  • Yaogan 1 - . Mass: 2,700 kg (5,900 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CNSA. Manufacturer: CASC. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance radar satellite. Spacecraft: Yaogan. USAF Sat Cat: 29092 . COSPAR: 2006-015A. Apogee: 630 km (390 mi). Perigee: 627 km (389 mi). Inclination: 97.8000 deg. Period: 97.30 min. Summary: Remote sensing satellite built by the Shanghai SAST Group. In reality it was the first Chinese synthetic aperture radar military surveillance satellite..

2006 October 23 - . 23:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 4B CZ4B-10 (92).
  • SJ-6-2A SJ-6C - . Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: SJ-6. USAF Sat Cat: 29505 . COSPAR: 2006-046A. Apogee: 598 km (371 mi). Perigee: 594 km (369 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.60 min. Summary: Replaced the SJ-6 Group 1 satellites A and B. Official purpose was to measure the space environment, but foreign analysts suspected a SIGINT role..
  • SJ-6-2B SJ-6D - . Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: SJ-6. USAF Sat Cat: 29506 . COSPAR: 2006-046B. Apogee: 599 km (372 mi). Perigee: 598 km (371 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.70 min.

2007 September 19 - . 03:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 4B CZ4B (102).
  • CBERS-2B - . Mass: 1,452 kg (3,201 lb). Nation: China; Brazil. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Civilian surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: ZY. USAF Sat Cat: 32062 . COSPAR: 2007-042A. Apogee: 775 km (481 mi). Perigee: 773 km (480 mi). Inclination: 98.5000 deg. Period: 100.30 min. Third China-Brazil joint earth resources satellite. Much higher resolution optics and multispectral sensors expected to be useful for some military applications as well. The satellite raised its orbit to its operational altitude of 773 km two days after launch.

2008 October 25 - . 01:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B.
  • SJ-6-03A - . Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: SJ-6. USAF Sat Cat: 33408 . COSPAR: 2008-053A. Apogee: 603 km (374 mi). Perigee: 584 km (362 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.50 min. Summary: Third pair in China's SJ military surveillance constellation. It has been suggested that each pair consists of two differing satellites, a smaller minisatellite built by SAST Shanghai and a larger 300-kg CAST-968 bus satellite from DFH..
  • SJ-6-03B - . Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: SJ-6. USAF Sat Cat: 33409 . COSPAR: 2008-053B. Apogee: 605 km (375 mi). Perigee: 582 km (361 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.50 min.

2008 December 15 - . 03:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B. LV Configuration: CZ-4B s/n CZ417.
  • Yaogan Weixing 5 - . Mass: 2,200 kg (4,800 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance radar satellite. Spacecraft: Yaogan. USAF Sat Cat: 33456 . COSPAR: 2008-064A. Apogee: 496 km (308 mi). Perigee: 486 km (301 mi). Inclination: 97.4000 deg. Period: 94.40 min. One of the two different series of military surveillance satellites launched under the YW designation, although YW 5 was in a lower orbit similar to the ZY-2 satellites, lower than previous YW satellites. The launch vehicle was announced as a CZ-4B, but appeared to be a CZ-4B with the CZ-4C's restartable YF-40A upper stage under the larger CZ-4C nose fairing.

2010 October 6 - . 00:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B.
  • SJ-6G - . Payload: SJ-6/4A. Mass: 1,000 kg (2,200 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: SJ-6. USAF Sat Cat: 37179 . COSPAR: 2010-051A. Apogee: 606 km (376 mi). Perigee: 587 km (364 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.60 min. Summary: Fourth pair of SJ-6 military surveillance satellites..
  • SJ-6H - . Payload: SJ-6/4B. Mass: 200 kg (440 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: SJ-6. USAF Sat Cat: 37180 . COSPAR: 2010-051B. Apogee: 604 km (375 mi). Perigee: 588 km (365 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.60 min.

2011 August 15 - . 22:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B.
  • Haiyang 2A - . Nation: China. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft: HY-1. USAF Sat Cat: 37781 . COSPAR: 2011-043A. Apogee: 967 km (600 mi). Perigee: 966 km (600 mi). Inclination: 99.4000 deg. Period: 104.40 min. Summary: Oceanographic satellite with a microwave radiometer, a radar altimeter and a radar scatterometer to monitor ocean conditions..

2011 August 17 - . 07:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B.
  • EDUSAT - . Mass: 10 kg (22 lb). Nation: Italy. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 37788 . COSPAR: 2011-044A. Apogee: 698 km (433 mi). Perigee: 639 km (397 mi). Inclination: 98.2000 deg. Period: 98.10 min. Summary: Technology satellite built by the Universita di Roma la Sapienza..
  • Nigeriasat 2 - . Mass: 268 kg (590 lb). Nation: Nigeria. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: SSTL-300. USAF Sat Cat: 37789 . COSPAR: 2011-044B. Apogee: 718 km (446 mi). Perigee: 693 km (430 mi). Inclination: 98.2000 deg. Period: 98.90 min. Summary: Observation satellite with a 2.5-m resolution imager for Nigeria's National Space Research Development Agency..
  • Nigeriasat X - . Mass: 86 kg (189 lb). Nation: Nigeria. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. Spacecraft: SSTL-100. USAF Sat Cat: 37790 . COSPAR: 2011-044C. Apogee: 699 km (434 mi). Perigee: 656 km (407 mi). Inclination: 98.2000 deg. Period: 98.30 min. Summary: Technology demonstration satellite built by Surrey Satellite with participation by Nigerian engineers..

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