Kaituozhe (rocket family)

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The Kaituozhe rocket family is a series of launch vehicles build by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). In English Kaituozhe means Explorer.


Kaituozhe-1 or (KT-1) was small, solid fueled launch vehicle. The vehicle has performed two flights, the first in September 2002 and the second exactly one year later. The first flight failed to place a 50 kg satellite into polar orbit due to a second stage malfunction. The second flight was also a failure, however Chinese officials declared some success citing the guidance systems, fairing separation and satellite-launcher separation as successful. The Kaituozhe-1 launcher appears to have been cancelled after two unsuccessful launches. A third and fourth launch have been rumored, but are not confirmed.[1]


Like its predecessor the Kaituozhe-2 (KT-2) is a solid-fueled launch vehicle which could be based on the DF-31 missile.[2] Two versions were proposed:[citation needed]


The Kaituozhe-2 features a possibly DF-31 based stage 1, topped by a smalled diameter stage 2 and 3. It has reportedly a payload of 800 kg to low earth orbit.[3]

The maiden flight of the Kaituozhe-2[4] took place at 23:45 UTC on March 3, 2017 from Jiuquan.[2][5]


The Kaituozhe-2A features a possibly DF-31 based stage 1, augmented by two DF-21 based strap-on boosters. It features a stage 2 with the same diameter as the stage 1 and the same smaller diameter stage 3 as the Kaituozhe-2. It has reportedly a payload of 2000 kg to low earth orbit.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kaituozhe-1 (KT-1)". space.skyrocket.de. Retrieved 2017-03-03. 
  2. ^ a b Clark, Stephen (3 March 2017). "Small experimental satellite launched by new Chinese rocket". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 7 March 2017. 
  3. ^ "Kaituozhe-2 (KT-2)". space.skyrocket.de. Retrieved 2017-03-03. 
  4. ^ Brügge, Norbert. "Kaituozhe KT-2". Spacerockets. Retrieved 14 February 2017. 
  5. ^ "Experimental Tiankun-1 lofted during secretive KT-2 launch". NASASpaceflight.com. Retrieved 2017-03-03.