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Smart Dragon 3 launches 14 satellites amid debut flight

By ZHAO LEI | | Updated: 2022-12-09 17:53
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The Smart Dragon 3, a new solid-propellant carrier rocket, blasts off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern China's Shanxi province, Dec 9, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Smart Dragon 3, a new solid-propellant carrier rocket, made its maiden flight on Friday afternoon, according to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC), the country's leading space contractor.

The rocket blasted off at 2:35 pm from a ship in the Yellow Sea and launched 14 satellites into orbit during its flight, the State-owned conglomerate said in a news release.

Designed and built by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, the country's major rocket maker and a CASC subsidiary, the Smart Dragon 3 is 31 meters tall, has a diameter of 2.65 meters and a liftoff weight of 140 metric tons.

The rocket is mainly propelled by a high-performance, solid-propellant engine made by the Academy of Aerospace Solid Propulsion Technology in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, another CASC subsidiary.

The engine holds 71 tons of propellant that create a thrust of 200 tons.

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