Long March 2 (rocket family)
Long March 2 rocket family or Chang Zheng 2 rocket family as in Chinese pinyin is an expendable launch system operated by the People's Republic of China. They are part of the larger Long March -rocket family.
The several versions of the launcher include:
|Long March 2||Retired||5 November 1974||1||0||1|
|Long March 2A||Retired||26 November 1975||3||3||0|
|Long March 2C||Active||9 September 1982||44||43||1|
|Long March 2D||Active||9 August 1992||22||22||0|
|Long March 2E||Retired||16 July 1990||7||5||2|
|Long March 2E(A)||In development|
|Long March 2F||Active||19 November 1999||11||11||0|
Development and design falls mostly under the auspices of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT). The rockets use the abbreviations LM-2 family for export, and CZ-2 family within China, as "Chang Zheng" means "Long March" in Chinese pinyin.
Long March 2 is the base model of the Long March 2 rocket family, derived from Chinese first ICBM DF-5. The development work began in 1970, the first rocket was launched on November 5, 1974, but the launch failed. The production of the rocket ended in 1979.
Long March 2A and Long March 2B originally were Long March 2 derivatives for geostationary payloads. Long March 2A would use a cryogenic third stage, and Long March 2B a hypergolic one. Neither design was finalized. The original Long March 2A later became Long March 3. After the failed first launch of Long March 2, its design was slightly modified and designated as Long March 2A. Long March 2A was first launched in 1975.
The Long March 2E was the first in the Long March rocket family to introduce liquid rocket boosters, as well as a solid rocket perigee kick stage, to improve its GTO payload capacity to satisfy the domestic and international launch market in the 1990s. It was first launched in 1992.
The development of Long March 2F began in 1992, which is a man-rated version of Long March 2E. Its first launch was in November 1999 (See also Shenzhou 1). This version is the safest model in the Long March 2 family, with 11 launches and no failure record. An unmanned derivative called Long March 2F/G carries the bulkier Tiangong space laboratories.
Long March 2D and Long March 4 were developed by the Shanghai Academy of Space Flight Technology (SAST), while all others are developed by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT).
(plus 4 Strap-on boosters)
(plus 4 Strap-on boosters)
|Max. diameter (m)||3.35||3.35||3.35||7.85||7.85|
|Liftoff mass (t)||190||192||232||462||464|
|Liftoff thrust (kN)||2786||2786||2962||5923||6512|
|Payload (LEO, kg)||1800||2400||3100||9200||8400|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Long March 2.|
- "Go Taikonauts! - Launch Vehicle". Archived from the original on 27 October 2009. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
- Wu, Min (2013-06-17). "长征谱系：在研重型火箭运载能力为现役型号6倍" [Long March Rocket Family: Heavy Launcher in Development Would Have Six Times Greater Capability] (in Chinese). Retrieved 2017-08-28.
- Torishima, Shinya (2014-12-08). "中国の長征ロケット・シリーズ、200機目の打ち上げを達成" [China's Long March Rockets Achieve 200 Launchs]. Retrieved 2017-08-28.
- "Space Launchers - Long March". Retrieved 21 April 2015.
- Jones, Morris (2016-01-27). "Last Launch for Long March 2F/G". Space Daily. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
The principal difference between the Shenzhou-launching Long March 2F and its 2F/G cousin is easy to spot. The 2F/G carries a very different payload fairing at its top. This accounts. for the larger dimensions of the Tiangong laboratory, which wouldn't fit inside the standard payload fairing for the 2F.
It also lacks an emergency escape system. With no astronauts on board, the escape rocket and stabilizer panels that help Shenzhou spacecraft to separate from their rocket in a launch failure are not needed. This simplifies the design and also reduces the weight of the rocket. That's critical. Tiangong modules weigh more than Shenzhou spacecraft, so this helps to keep the overall launch mass within performance limits.