Flight plan After several delays, which pushed the launch back from early August, the Chang Zheng 2C and its Yuanzheng-1 upper stage were successfully rolled out to South Launch Site (SLS) 2 at Jiuquan and prepared for launch. At 11:15 UTC (07:15 EDT, 19:15 Beijing time) on Tuesday, August 24, the four YF-21C engines that power the Chang Zheng 2C’s first stage ignited, providing the rocket with over 2,900kN of thrust and sending it and its three payloads on a path to orbit. The Yuanzheng-1 is powered by one YF-50D engine, which provides the stage with 6.5kN of thrust and allows for multiple burns throughout a six and a half-hour period. The third and final stage was a Yuanzheng-1 restartable upper stage, which was used to deliver the payloads into their final orbits. The restartable nature of the Yuanzheng-1 means the stage can be used to insert payloads into different orbits on the same mission, which allows for rideshare-type flights with more than one payload customer, as was the case with today’s launch. Sections of the Long March 2C and its upper stage being rolled out prior to launch. (Credit: Zhang Man) Following completion of its burn, the first stage gave way to the second, powered by one YF-22E main engine and four YF-23C vernier engines for attitude control. Payloads This functionality is desirable for building satellite constellations, and the Yuanzheng-1 has been called upon to launch spacecraft for China’s BeiDou Satellite Navigation System. Although little is known about the two RSW spacecraft, it is believed they are intended to carry out satellite internet coverage experiments to aid in the development of a Chinese global satellite internet constellation under development by the Chinese government. Ronghe Shiyan Weixing-01 and 02 (RSW-01/02), the first two of the three spacecraft launched aboard that mission, are two experimental communications satellites built by the China Aerospace and Technology Corporation (CAST), China’s state-owned aerospace company that serves as the prime contractor for the China National Space Agency (CNSA). Long March 2C during the first stages of launch. (Credit: Wang Jiangbo/Xinhua) News Highlights Space – Headline: Chang Zheng 2C launches experimental Chinese Internet satellites into orbit – Check all news and articles from the [Space news] information updates. [Google News]