Archive for ‘Yellow Sea’

17/06/2019

China rockets to forefront of global space race with sea launch success

  • China has become the first nation to fully own and operate a floating launch platform for its space missions
China has successfully launched a rocket into space from the Yellow Sea, making it the first nation to fully own and operate a floating sea launch platform. Photo: China National Space Administration
China has successfully launched a rocket into space from the Yellow Sea, making it the first nation to fully own and operate a floating sea launch platform. Photo: China National Space Administration
China successfully launched a rocket into space from a civilian cargo ship at sea on Wednesday, becoming the first nation to fully own and operate a floating sea launch platform, a technology expected to significantly reduce the cost and risk of space missions.
A Long March 11WEY rocket blasted off from the ship in the Yellow Sea at noon Beijing time, according to the China National Space Administration.
About six minutes later, five commercial satellites and a pair of “technical experiment” probes – called Bufeng, or Wind Catchers – reached their designated orbits.

The Wind Catchers will work together to detect winds on the surface of the world’s oceans. They will boost China’s ability to monitor and forecast typhoons and other extreme weather events, according to the administration.

“Launching a rocket from the sea has the advantages of high flexibility, good adaptability for specific tasks, and excellent launch economy,” said a statement on the administration’s website.

“It can flexibly select the launch point and touchdown area to meet the needs of various payloads for different orbits, and provide better aerospace commercial launch services for countries along the belt and road,” it added, referring to the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s plan to grow global trade.

The Long March 11 is a four-stage, solid fuel rocket with a design similar to a ballistic missile. It can carry a payload of about 700kg to the Earth’s lower orbit.

The first two stages of the rocket dropped in open waters in the northern Pacific Ocean, according to the administration. The rocket was equipped with a flight suspension system in case of any abnormal situation, but none occurred.

“The rocket debris will not cause damage to surrounding waters,” the administration said.

The world’s first ocean rocket launch platform, the Sea Launch, was jointly built by companies from Russia, the United States, Norway and Ukraine in the late 1990s. Its operation was halted in 2014 after military conflicts broke out between Russia and Ukraine.

Li Hong, president of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, told state media in March that the Chinese rocket and launch platform were designed and owned entirely by China, so it would not have similar problems caused by international disputes as the Sea Launch.

The launch was expected to encounter many technical and engineering challenges, including simplified procedures for pre-launch testing, the rocking motion of the ship and heat dissipation in a confined space.

But Chinese space authorities have argued the inconvenience would be offset by numerous advantages. For instance, the technology would allow China to move its launch site to as far away as Hawaii for quicker, cheaper satellite insertion to certain orbits, according to Xinhua.

Preparations get under way for Wednesday’s successful Chinese space launch from the northern Pacific ocean. Photo: China National Space Administration
Preparations get under way for Wednesday’s successful Chinese space launch from the northern Pacific ocean. Photo: China National Space Administration

A maritime launch is also expected to reduce the risk of rocket debris falling into densely populated areas.

Chinese space launch sites are typically located inland for defence purposes.

China has built its sea launch capability mainly to bolster the commercial space sector, according to Chinese space authorities.

In this mission, the rocket was sponsored and named after WEY, a young luxury car brand by Chinese sports utility vehicle manufacturer Great Wall Motor.

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Some cutting-edge car technology, such as new paint materials, will go into space for testing in the most extreme environments, according to state media reports.
The payloads include the Jilin 03A, the latest addition to a high-definition Earth observation satellite network, according to Changguang Satellite Technology Corporation, the satellite’s owner.
The company said the constellation, which will eventually comprise more than 20 satellites, would achieve global coverage for commercial applications.
One of the satellites launched on Wednesday belongs to Shanghai-based LinkSure Network, which has ambitious plans to provide free Wi-fi to everyone on the planet. The company has said it plans to eventually launch more than 200 satellites as part of the project.
Source: SCMP
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05/06/2019

China completes first offshore rocket launch

CHINA-QINGDAO-ROCKET-LAUNCH (CN)

A Long March-11 solid propellant carrier rocket is launched from a mobile launch platform in the Yellow Sea off east China’s Shangdong Province, June 5, 2019. China successfully launched a rocket from a mobile launch platform in the Yellow Sea off Shandong Province on Wednesday, sending two technology experiment satellites and five commercial satellites into space. A Long March-11 solid propellant carrier rocket blasted off at 12:06 p.m. from the mobile platform. It is China’s first space launch from a sea-based platform and the 306th mission of the Long March carrier rocket series. (Xinhua/Zhu Zheng)

QINGDAO, June 5 (Xinhua) — China successfully launched a rocket from a mobile launch platform in the Yellow Sea off Shandong Province on Wednesday, sending two technology experiment satellites and five commercial satellites into space.

A Long March-11 solid propellant carrier rocket blasted off at 12:06 p.m. from the mobile platform. It is China’s first space launch from a sea-based platform and the 306th mission of the Long March carrier rocket series.

The rocket is also named “CZ-11 WEY” under an agreement between the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, China Space Foundation and a Chinese automobile producer.

Launching a carrier rocket from an ocean-based platform has many advantages over a land launch.

The closer to the equator a rocket launch can get, the greater the speed boost it will receive. It reduces the amount of energy required to get into space and means that less fuel is required.

The launch site is flexible and falling rocket remains pose less danger. Using civilian ships to launch rockets at sea would lower launch costs and give it a commercial edge.

The seaborne launch technology will meet the growing launch demand of low inclination satellites and help China provide launch services for countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, according to experts.

The two satellites, developed by China Academy of Space Technology, are expected to step up all-weather monitoring of ocean wind fields and improve typhoon monitoring and accuracy of the weather forecast in China.

Among the five commercial satellites, the two satellites, developed by China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, are China’s first small satellite system based on Ka-band.

The Long March-11, developed by China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, is the only rocket using solid propellants among China’s new generation carrier rockets. It is mainly used to carry small satellites and can take multiple satellites into orbit at the same time.

Source: Xinhua

06/03/2019

China’s new huge solid rocket booster completes test

BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) — China announced Tuesday that the country’s new solid rocket booster, with 200-tonne thrust engine, completed hot firing tests, proving its readiness for commercial launches.

With a diameter of 2.65 meters, the booster engine is expected to be used on the modified version of the Long March-11 rocket. The rocket is the only series in the Long March family that uses solid propellants, and it can be launched within 24 hours.

Developed by the Academy of Aerospace Solid Propulsion Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, it will be China’s most powerful rocket booster engine, delivering a maximum thrust of 200 tonnes and the ability to carry as much as 71 tonnes of fuel.

It will have a carrying capacity of 1.5 tonnes for sun-synchronous orbit.

In 2009, the academy took the lead in China in developing a rocket booster engine for the Long March-11. The previous-generation, covered with a steel shell, was 2 meters in diameter, capable of 120 tonnes of thrust and could carry 35 tonnes of fuel.

To increase its carrying capacity and market competitiveness, the new booster is made using filament winding composite material, which is better and can be applied more widely than a metal shell, said Wang Jianru, chief designer of the booster.

The successful tests mark a milestone in developing a more efficient booster engine with cost advantage for China’s new-generation rocket, according to the design team.

China’s first seaborne rocket launch is scheduled for mid-2019, with a Long March-11 carrier rocket set to blast off in the Yellow Sea.

Source: Xinhua

01/03/2019

Chinese navy’s 70th birthday parade set to showcase country’s rising sea power

  • Next month’s nautical spectacle will allow country to show off its most advanced warships to an international audience
  • More than a dozen foreign navies are expected to join in, including the United States

Chinese navy’s 70th birthday parade showcases rising sea power

1 Mar 2019

Chinese warships pictured at the end of joint exercise with the Russian navy in 2016. Photo: Xinhua
Chinese warships pictured at the end of joint exercise with the Russian navy in 2016. Photo: Xinhua
China will hold a naval parade next month to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army Navy and will invite more than a dozen of foreign navies to participate.
The parade will take place on April 23 in the Yellow Sea off the coast of Qingdao in Shandong province, Ren Zhiqiang, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defence, said on Thursday.
Ren did not provide further details of the parade but military analysts said the exercise would give the navy the opportunity to display its rapidly growing strength and show how that has increased in the past 12 months.

In April last year a naval review in the South China Sea featured a total of 48 vessels and 76 planes, including China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, its Type 094A and 095 nuclear submarines, 052D guided missile destroyers and J-15 fighter jets.

The experts expect that next month’s event will provide a showcase for several new and more powerful vessels including its home-grown aircraft carrier Type 001A, the Type 055 – Asia’s most powerful destroyer – and several nuclear submarines.

“The fact that China is holding the naval parade just one year after the South China Sea review shows the great importance [the leadership] attaches to the development of China’s maritime interests, the navy and its expansion,” navy expert Li Jie said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping joined the crew on the deck of the cruiser Changsha following last year’s naval review. Photo: Xinhua
Chinese President Xi Jinping joined the crew on the deck of the cruiser Changsha following last year’s naval review. Photo: Xinhua

China also held a major naval parade in 2009 to mark the navy’s 60th anniversary.

It was smaller in scale than the upcoming extravaganza with 25 PLA vessels and 31 fighter jets taking part.

Fourteen foreign navies sent ships to the 2009 parade, including the USS Fitzgerald from America and the guided-missile cruiser Varyag from Russia. France, Australia, South Korea, India and Pakistan also joined in the event.

More foreign countries are expected to join the party this year as the PLA has become more active internationally and China has sold more warships to foreign navies.

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“The parade is more like a birthday party for the PLA Navy and the participation of foreign navies is a matter of diplomatic courtesy with few military implications,” said Yue Gang, a former PLA colonel.

Yue said the US and its allies would attend despite the rising tensions between the two sides.

Since 2015 the US and Chinese navies have engaged in a series of confrontations in the South China Sea as China strengthens its military presence in the region and the US has sought to challenge Beijing’s claims to the waters by conducting what it describes as “freedom of navigation” operations.

“I don’t expect they will send any of the warships that have taken part in such operations [to the parade],” Yue said.

China has greatly expanded its naval capabilities in recent years. Photo: AP
China has greatly expanded its naval capabilities in recent years. Photo: AP

It has been reported that the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force has expressed an interest in joining the parade and the Philippines – which has a rival claim to the South China Sea – is planning to send a vessel to the event for the first time.

Li said militaries such as the US and Japan would not want to miss the chance to observe the PLA Navy closely.

“In addition, greater transparency [through the parade] will also help reassure smaller regional partners such as the Philippines that China is a friendly power despite its growing military strength,” he said.

China held its first naval parade in 1957 and April’s display will be the sixth such event.

Sailors also took part in the parade through Tiananmen Square to mark the foundation of the People’s Republic on October 1 1949.

Source: SCMP

26/02/2019

China launches large-scale salmon farming in Yellow Sea

QINGDAO, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) — China has launched a project for the large-scale cultivation of salmon in the cold water mass of the Yellow Sea to cater to growing seafood demand in Chinese markets.

The project will build a salmon farm about 130 nautical miles off the shore of Rizhao in east China’s Shandong Province, with the aim of producing 45,000 tonnes of salmon annually, said Dong Shuanglin, a professor at the Ocean University of China and the project’s chief scientist.

Initiated by the university and two Chinese firms, the project involves a total investment of over 4.3 billion yuan (642 million U.S. dollars) and has demarcated a cultivation area of 3,000 hectares.

It plans to erect the “Shenlan 2” salmon cage in the second half of this year, following a successful trial of salmon farming at “Shenlan 1,” the world’s largest fully-submersible fish cage.

The “Shenlan 2” cage is 80 meters tall, compared with the 35 meters of “Shenlan 1,” and can accommodate 1 million fish, a large increase from its predecessor’s 300,000, according to Dong.

The project also includes the construction of an onshore industrial park, R&D facilities and a fry cultivation base. The first batch of salmon from the farm is scheduled to hit the market by the end of 2020.

Chinese scientists have in recent years started to test rearing salmon in the Yellow Sea’s cold water mass, a seasonal low-temperature water body, as the country’s offshore fish farming faces a lack of space, disease outbreaks and other environmental problems.

The 13-million-hectare cold water mass in the Yellow Sea is large enough to raise 500 million salmon, and its strong self-purification means lower risks of diseases and parasite outbreaks, according to the university.

Salmon farming in that sea area is also expected to herald a new trend in China’s marine aquaculture following seaweed, shrimp, shellfish, fish and sea cucumber, while offering a platform for cooperation with countries like Norway and Japan in farm management, diseases and parasites control, according to sources familiar with the industry.

Source: Xinhua

26/02/2019

‘No-go zone’ in Yellow Sea for Chinese aircraft carrier sea trials

  • Liaoning has just undergone a nine-month revamp
  • Flight system of new warship the Type 001A expected to be put to test

‘No-go zone’ in Yellow Sea for Chinese aircraft carrier sea trials

26 Feb 2019

China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier, the Type 001A, will undergo major tests as it enters the final phase of preparations before it is commissioned. Photo: Reuters
China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier, the Type 001A, will undergo major tests as it enters the final phase of preparations before it is commissioned. Photo: Reuters

China has announced a “no-go zone” in the Yellow Sea while sea trials are carried out for two of its aircraft carriers – the Liaoning, which has just been upgraded, and its first domestically built carrier.

The Liaoning Maritime Administration said there would be no entry to the area off China’s northeast coast from Sunday to March 6, and it would be used for “military purposes”.

State media reported that the Liaoning, which was commissioned in 2012, left the Dalian shipyard on Sunday after nine months of maintenance and modifications. Photos showed a banner where the warship was docked reading “Congratulations to the Liaoning on its new mission”.

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Meanwhile, the Type 001A aircraft carrier, which was built at the same shipyard, is expected to undergo major tests at sea as it enters the final phase of preparations before it is commissioned.
Naval expert Li Jie said the Liaoning would probably also undergo testing, but he expected the no-go zone would mainly be for the Type 001A, especially to put its flight system to the test.

“This vessel will soon enter service and in preparation for that it has to go through a number of manoeuvres, take-offs and landings with the ship-based aircraft,” Li said.

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The warship appears to be ready for operations involving those aircraft, according to a report on news website Guancha.cn. Photos showed three blast deflectors – which protect the deck and crew from jet engines – on the Type 001A flight deck, along with trucks to tow planes and fire engines, the report said.

The vessel has undergone four sea trials since it was launched in April 2017.

China’s first and only active aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, was likely to carry out exercises involving J-15 fighter jets to get it combat-ready after its revamp, according to Li.
He expected both aircraft carriers to take part in the PLA Navy’s fleet review to be held off Qingdao, in Shandong province, on April 23 to mark the anniversary of the navy – part of a series of activities to commemorate the 70th year since the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
“They will both be at the event if the tests of the Type 001A go well. If not, the Liaoning will be there at least,” Li said.
After a fourth sea trial, China’s Type 001A aircraft carrier may go into service within month.
The Liaoning went back to the Dalian shipyard in May and has had its bridge and air traffic control centre rebuilt and radar system upgraded. The flight deck was also modified.
China bought the vessel from Ukraine in 1998 as an unfinished Soviet Kuznetsov-class carrier, the Varyag. It was retrofitted between 2006 and 2011. China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier, the Type 001A, was based on the 50,000-tonne vessel.
Source: SCMP
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