China Launches Five Satellites Aboard CERES-1 Y2 Commercial Rocket

China launched its CERES-1 Y2 carrier rocket designed for commercial use from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China Tuesday. The rocket lifted off at 12:12 p.m., carrying five small satellites that successfully entered the preset orbit, including Tianjin University-1, Lize-1, Baoshui, Golden Bauhinia-5, and Golden Bauhinia-1-03.

The flight is the second of the CERES-1 rocket series, following the maiden voyage in November 2020. This launch marks the technical maturity of the CERES-1 commercial rocket.

Developed by the Beijing-based aerospace company, Galactic Energy, the rocket is a four-stage launch vehicle providing customized launch services for small commercial satellites. The rocket, with a diameter of 1.4 meters and a length of 19 meters, has a liftoff weight of 30 tonnes. It can send a payload of 350 kilograms to a low-Earth orbit and 300 kilograms to a 500-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit.   

Since the successful first flight of the CERES-1 Y1 carrier rocket in 2020, Galactic Energy has carried out a lot of basic work around the three major goals of improving rocket carrying performance, quality control capability and mass production delivery capability.

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Galactic Energy plans to complete five commercial launch missions in 2022 and further speed up development of its two-stage reusable carrier rocket known as PALLAS-1.