Prelims level : Science and Tech Mains level : GS-III Technology, Economic Development, Environment
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Why in News:

  • China successfully launched a rocket from a mobile platform at the Yellow Sea for the first time on Wednesday, sending two technology experiment satellites and five commercial satellites into space.


  • A Long March-11 solid propellant carrier rocket blasted off from a launch pad aboard a ship in the Yellow Sea off the coast of Shandong province
  • It is China’s first space launch from a sea-based platform and the 306th mission of the Long March carrier rocket series, official media in Beijing reported.
  • The two satellites, developed by China Academy of Space Technology, are expected to step up all-weather monitoring of ocean wind fields and improve typhoon monitoring and accuracy of the weather forecast in China.
  • Among the five commercial satellites, the two satellites, developed by China Electronics
    Technology Group Corporation, are China’s first small satellite system based on Ka-band.

Advantage of Ocean-based platform launch

  • Launching a carrier rocket from an ocean-based platform has many advantages over a land launch.
  • The closer to the equator a rocket launch can get, the greater the speed boost it will receive. It reduces the amount of energy required to get into space and means that less fuel is required, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
  • The launch site is flexible and falling rocket remains to pose less danger.
  • Using civilian ships to launch rockets at sea would lower launch costs and give it a commercial edge.

Other Advantage:

  • The seaborne launch technology will meet the growing launch demand of low inclination satellites and help China provide launch services for countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, Xinhua quoted Chinese experts as saying.
  • With sea launches, China now has the ability to deploy satellites from a mobile platform. China now spends more than Russia and Japan on its civil and military space programmes. It also unveiled ambitious plans to build a research base on the lunar surface, send a probe to Mars and build a space station in Earth orbit.

Long March-11

  • The Long March-11, developed by China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, is the
    only rocket using solid propellants among China’s new generation carrier rockets.
  • It is mainly used to carry small satellites and can take multiple satellites into orbit at the same time, the report said.
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