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Long March 2F chief designer on Tiangong-2 launch


09-09-2016 17:34 BJT

Full coverage: China Tiangong-2 Space Lab Launch

The Long March 2F rocket will send the Tiangong-2 space lab into a preprogrammed orbit within only about 580 seconds. The chief designer of the Long March 2F rocket took an interview with CCTV, and gave us details on the whole process. 

The two-stage Long March 2F rocket weighs about 500 tons, and 90 percent of that weight is liquid fuel.

The first and the second rocket, and four boosters, are like giant fuel tanks, to provide the strong lift neeeded for launch.

"During the blast-off, the rocket will fly vertically. According to the orbit design, the rocket will turn when it reaches a certain height, and at that point it will be orbiting the earth," said Jing Muchun, chief designer of China Aerospace Science & Technology Corporation.

At 12 seconds after launch, the rocket will have a programmed turn, to fly along Earth's axis to save fuel.

At 155 seconds, four boosters detach from the main rocket, after they run out of fuel.

At 160 seconds, the first-stage rocket detaches, and the second-stage motor starts.

At 210 seconds, it carries the Tiangong-2 into space.

And at 582 seconds, it stops working, detaching three seconds later. It's mission is accomplished.

Jing said, "There are many different phases during the launch, like igniting and shutting off the engine, as well as separating different stages of the rocket. It tests the precision and reliability of the rocket."

Long March 2F is scheduled to send Tiangong-2, a space laboratory, into space between September 15th and 20th.

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