China launched its CERES-1 Y2 carrier rocket designed for commercial use from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China Tuesday. The rocket lifted off at 12:12 p.m., carrying five small satellites that successfully entered the preset orbit, including Tianjin University-1, Lize-1, Baoshui, Golden Bauhinia-5, and Golden Bauhinia-1-03.
The flight is the second of the CERES-1 rocket series, following the maiden voyage in November 2020. This launch marks the technical maturity of the CERES-1 commercial rocket.
Developed by the Beijing-based aerospace company, Galactic Energy, the rocket is a four-stage launch vehicle providing customized launch services for small commercial satellites. The rocket, with a diameter of 1.4 meters and a length of 19 meters, has a liftoff weight of 30 tonnes. It can send a payload of 350 kilograms to a low-Earth orbit and 300 kilograms to a 500-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit.
Since the successful first flight of the CERES-1 Y1 carrier rocket in 2020, Galactic Energy has carried out a lot of basic work around the three major goals of improving rocket carrying performance, quality control capability and mass production delivery capability.
Galactic Energy plans to complete five commercial launch missions in 2022 and further speed up development of its two-stage reusable carrier rocket known as PALLAS-1.