The new Long rocket series comprises a cluster of solid-fueled rockets codenamed the Smart Dragon (SD) family, and a Tenglong liquid-propellant rocket.
The SD rocket family is made up of the SD-1, -2, -3 launch vehicles. The SD rockets are capable of carrying payloads weighing between 200 kilograms and 1.5 tons to the Sun-synchronous orbit 500 kilometers above the ground, the developer, China Rocket in Beijing, told the Global Times via a statement on Sunday.
The SD-2 and SD-3, according to the developer, are scheduled to make their first flights in 2020 and 2021 respectively. The SD-2 has a carrying capability of more than 500 kilograms and the SD-3 can send a payload of more than 1.5 tons into space.
Also, the Tenglong liquid rocket, which was unveiled to the public for the first time on Saturday and remains at a sophisticated assessment stage, is expected to be recyclable and to provide launch services for medium- to large-sized satellites and satellite constellations.
China Rocket revealed that the Tenglong rocket will make its maiden flight in around 2021, and the company is striving to control the launch cost for each kilogram of payload to within $5,000.
The Long series is designed to meet the increasing market demand for sending commercial payloads into orbit both at home and abroad, said Tang Yagang, the CEO of China Rocket, in the Sunday statement.
China Rocket also said it will raise 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) from the public in a staged manner, using the money for innovation and capability building in the fields of research of commercial rockets and the development of reusable launch vehicles, directing the capital power in the country for a precision investment in the space high-tech area, and cultivating greater core strength for the country's space sector.