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China launches 26 satellites on ZK 1A carrier, and surpasses itself

It's a new record for the number of spacecraft carried into orbit by a single Chinese rocket/VIDEO

China launched yesterday a ZK-1A carrier rocket at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center carrying a total of 26 satellites, thus breaking its own record for the number of spacecraft carried into orbit by a single Chinese rocket. Before this mission, the national record was held by the first launch of the modified version of the Long March 8 rocket which in February last year deployed 22 of them in orbit. However, the world record since January 2021 is held by SpaceX's Falcon 9, with 143 satellites carried.

The ZK-1A rocket -developed jointly by the Institute of Mechanics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Cas Space (Beijing Zhongke Aerospace Exploration Technology Co., Ltd), also known as Lijian-1 or Kinetic1-, was launched at 12:10 yesterday morning local time and succeeded in placing all the satellites in pre-established orbits, including the experimental ones Shiyan 24A and 24B. The ZK-1A made its debut at the Jiuquan Center in July last year, becoming the country's largest and most powerful solid-fuel rocket. It has a length of 30 meters, a diameter of 2.65 meters and a take-off weight of 135 tons. It is capable of sending satellites with a combined weight of 1.5 tonnes into a typical sun-synchronous orbit approximately 500 kilometers above the Earth.

All 26, Cas Space said it, a Chinese commercial space launch company headquartered in Beijing, will perform technology demonstrations and commercial remote sensing operations. 

Below, the moment of the launch:

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency