Long March 2F

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Long March 2F
Chang Zheng 2F "Shenjian"
Function Man-rated orbital launch vehicle
Manufacturer CALT
Country of origin  China
Height 62 metres (203 ft)[1]
Diameter 3.35 metres (11.0 ft)[1]
Mass 464,000 kilograms (1,023,000 lb)[1]
Stages 2
Payload to
8,400 kilograms (18,500 lb)[1]
Associated rockets
Family Long March
Launch history
Status Active
Launch sites SLS, JSLC
Total launches 11
Successes 11
First flight 19 November 1999
Boosters (Stage 0)
No boosters 4
Length 15.3 metres (50 ft)
Diameter 2.3 metres (7 ft 7 in)
Empty mass 3,200 kilograms (7,100 lb)
Gross mass 41,000 kilograms (90,000 lb)
Engines 1 x YF - 20B per booster
Thrust 814 kilonewtons (183,000 lbf)
Total thrust 3,256 kilonewtons (732,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 291 seconds (2.85 km/s)
Burn time 128 seconds (2.13 min)
Fuel N2O4 / UDMH
First Stage
Length 23.7 metres (78 ft)
Diameter 3.4 metres (11 ft)
Empty mass 9,500 kilograms (20,900 lb)
Gross mass 196,500 kilograms (433,200 lb)
Engines 4 x YF - 20B
Thrust 3,256 kilonewtons (732,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 291 seconds (2.85 km/s)
Burn time 166 seconds (2.77 min)
Fuel N2O4 / UDMH
Second Stage
Length 13.5 metres (44 ft)
Diameter 3.4 metres (11 ft)
Empty mass 5,500 kilograms (12,100 lb)
Gross mass 91,500 kilograms (201,700 lb)
Engines 1 x YF - 25/23
Thrust 831 kilonewtons (187,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 289 seconds (2.83 km/s)
Burn time 300 seconds (5.0 min)
Fuel N2O4 / UDMH

The Long March 2F (Chinese: 长征二号F火箭 Changzheng 2F), also known as the CZ-2F, LM-2F and Shenjian,[1] is a Chinese manned orbital carrier rocket, part of the Long March rocket family. Designed to launch manned Shenzhou spacecraft, the Long March 2F is a man-rated two-stage version of the Long March 2E rocket, which in turn was based on the Long March 2C launch vehicle.[2] It is launched from complex SLS at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. The Long March 2F made its maiden flight on 19 November 1999, with the Shenzhou 1 spacecraft. After the flight of Shenzhou 3, CPC General Secretary and President Jiang Zemin named the rocket 'Shenjian' meaning 'Divine Arrow'.[3]

On 15 October 2003, a Long March 2F launched Shenzhou 5, China's first manned spaceflight. It has since launched the Shenzhou 6, Shenzhou 7, Shenzhou 9, and Shenzhou 10 missions into orbit.[4]

Differences from the Long March 2E[edit]

Externally, the rocket is a little different from the Long March 2E from which it was derived. Most of the changes are redundant systems to improve safety, although there are some structural modifications which allow the rocket to support the heavier fairing required by the Shenzhou capsule. The rocket is also capable of lifting heavier payloads with the addition of extra boosters to the first stage.[5]

The rocket also has an "advanced fault monitoring and diagnosis system to help the astronauts escape in time of emergency", and is the first Chinese made rocket to be assembled and rolled out to its launch site vertically.[6]

Vibration issues[edit]

During the Shenzhou 5 flight, Yang Liwei became unwell due to heavy vibrations from the rocket. Although the problem was reduced somewhat by modifications to the rocket, vibrations were reported again in Shenzhou 6 necessitating further changes. According to Jing Muchun, chief designer of the Long March 2F "We made changes to the pipelines of the rocket engine, adjusting its frequency. A new design for the pressure accumulator produced evident results. The vibration has now been reduced by more than 50 percent." [7]

Launch history[edit]

Date & Time (GMT) Payload Outcome Remarks
19 November 1999, 22:30 Shenzhou 1 Success First unmanned test of the Shenzhou capsule
9 January 2001, 01:00 Shenzhou 2 Success Second unmanned test of the Shenzhou capsule, carried live animals
25 March 2002, 14:00 Shenzhou 3 Success Third unmanned test of the Shenzhou capsule.
29 December 2002, 16:40 Shenzhou 4 Success Final unmanned test of the Shenzhou capsule.
15 October 2003, 01:00 Shenzhou 5 Success China's first manned spaceflight
12 October 2005, 01:00 Shenzhou 6 Success Second manned spaceflight, first with two crew members
25 September 2008, 13:10 Shenzhou 7 Success Third manned spaceflight, first with three crew members, first to feature Extra-vehicular activity
29 September 2011, 13:16 Tiangong 1 Success The first Chinese space station. Modified version of Long March 2F with payload fairing used.
31 October 2011, 21:58 Shenzhou 8 Success Unmanned spaceflight to test automatic rendezvous and docking with Tiangong-1.
16 June 2012, 10:37 Shenzhou 9 Success Fourth manned spaceflight with three crew members, to test rendezvous and docking with Tiangong-1.
11 June 2013, 09:38 Shenzhou 10 Success[8] Three crew members; rendezvous and docking with Tiangong-1


  1. ^ a b c d e Mark Wade. Encyclopedia Astronautica http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/cz2f.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-02.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "LM-2F - Launch Vehicle". CGWIC. Retrieved 2010-12-13. 
  3. ^ "CZ". Astronautix.com. Retrieved 2010-12-13. 
  4. ^ "China to launch Shenzhou-7 spacecraft on Thursday". news.xinhuanet.com. English Xinhua. 2008-09-24. Retrieved 2010-12-13. 
  5. ^ "Long March 2F - Summary". Spaceandtech.com. 1999-11-20. Retrieved 2010-12-13. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ "CCTV International". Cctv.com. 2008-09-25. Retrieved 2010-12-13. 
  8. ^ Jonathan Amos (11 June 2013). "Shenzhou-10: China launches next manned space mission". BBC News.