Watch: World’s Most Powerful Solid-Fuel Carrier Rocket Successfully Launched From The Waters

The Gravity-1 (YL-1), the world’s most potent solid propellant rocket, was successfully launched by China’s Orienspace from the waters off the coast of Haiyang City, Shandong Province. On Thursday at 1:30 p.m. (Beijing Time), the medium-lift rocket, which has a height of around 30 meters, a take-off weight of 400 tonnes and a thrust of 600 tonnes, made its first flight and successfully launched three Yunyao-1 meteorological satellites into orbit.

The Chinese commercial aerospace company that accomplished this milestone, Orienspace, disclosed that the Gravity-1 has a record-breaking payload capacity of around 4,200 kg to a 500-kilometre sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) or 6,500 kg to low Earth orbit (LEO). Its impressive fairing, 9.345 meters high and 4.2 meters in diameter, places it at the top of China’s commercial aerospace market.


Video Credits: CGTN/YouTube

According to Orienspace, the rocket’s four boosters and three core stages are each driven by solid-propellant motors and have flexible swinging nozzles. The manufacturer emphasised the third-stage motor’s versatility—it can be converted to run on kerosene or liquid oxygen—to increase payload capacity.

A crucial feature of this success is employing a sea launch platform, giving better flexibility, agility, and lower risk to inhabited regions than land-based launches. Orienspace strategically placed infrastructures at the Haiyang Oriental Aerospace Port to enable assembly, testing, and launch procedures within a five-kilometre radius. This method reduces the need for long-distance transportation, speeds up the preparation time, and eventually decreases expenses.

Orienspace’s entry into the maritime launch business is consistent with the growing number of private space companies in China’s aerospace industry. Due to the scarcity of launch pads and the ever-increasing need for massive rocket launches, domestic industries are concentrating on creating strong and affordable rockets. With Gravity-2, a medium-lift launch vehicle with recoverable core stages, and Gravity-3, an ultimately recoverable heavy-lift carrier rocket, Orienspace is already preparing for the next development phase.

The ship-based launch concept, first proposed by the Sea-Launch consortium in the 1990s, is also being revived with the Gravity-1 launch. With the Gravity-1’s successful launch, Orienspace has established the world’s most powerful solid-fuel carrier rocket and China’s most potent commercial space launch rocket, which can launch nearly seven tonnes into low earth orbit.

Reference: CGTN

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Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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