Encyclopedia Astronautica
Double Star



dsp2.jpg
DSP-2
Chinese earth magnetosphere satellite. 2 launches, 2003.12.29 (Tan Ce 1) to 2004.07.25 (Tan Ce 2). Double Star was a joint ESA - China project to supplement ESA's Cluster satellites in characterizing the earth's magnetosphere.

The mission would consist of two 270 kg satellites - an 'equatorial' spacecraft (DSP-1) to be launched from Xichang in June 2003, and a 'polar' spacecraft (DSP-2) to be launched from Taiyuan in January 2004. The satellites would be equipped with European-built instruments in a Chinese spacecraft bus. Initial interface tests on the engineering models of the European instruments took place in April 2002.

Gross mass: 270 kg (590 lb).
First Launch: 2003.12.29.
Last Launch: 2004.07.25.
Number: 2 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • CZ China's first ICBM, the DF-5, first flew in 1971. It was a two-stage storable-propellant rocket in the same class as the American Titan, the Russian R-36, or the European Ariane. The DF-5 spawned a long series of Long March ("Chang Zheng") CZ-2, CZ-3, and CZ-4 launch vehicles. These used cryogenic engines for upper stages and liquid-propellant strap-on motors to create a family of 12 Long-March rocket configurations capable of placing up to 9,200 kg into orbit. In 2000 China began development of a new generation of expendable launch vehicles using non-toxic, high-performance propellants with supposedly lower operating costs. However these encountered development delays, and it seemed the reliable Long March series of rockets would continue in operational use for nearly fifty years before being replaced. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • CZ Chinese orbital launch vehicle. China's first ICBM, the DF-5, first flew in 1971. It was a two-stage storable-propellant rocket in the same class as the American Titan, the Russian R-36, or the European Ariane. The DF-5 spawned a long series of Long March ("Chang Zheng") CZ-2, CZ-3, and CZ-4 launch vehicles. These used cryogenic engines for upper stages and liquid-propellant strap-on motors to create a family of 12 Long-March rocket configurations capable of placing up to 9,200 kg into orbit. In 2000 China began development of a new generation of expendable launch vehicles using non-toxic, high-performance propellants with supposedly lower operating costs. However these encountered development delays, and it seemed the reliable Long March series of rockets would continue in operational use for nearly fifty years before being replaced. More...
  • CZ-2C Chinese orbital launch vehicle. The CZ-2C was the definitive low earth orbit launch vehicle derived from DF-5 ICBM. It became the basis for an entire family of subsequent Long March vehicles. Many adaptive modifications were made to the configuration of the CZ-2A to handle a variety of new satellites and upper stages. The CZ-2C had improved technical performance and payload capacity compared to the CZ-2A, with later versions having a payload capability of 2,800 kg into a 200 km circular orbit. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Chen Lan, Dragon in Space, Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Taiyuan China's launch site for launch of polar orbiting satellites, also known as Wuzhai. Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center (TSLC) is situated in Kelan County, the northwest part of Shanxi Province, 280 km by road from Taiyuan City. More...
  • Xichang China's launch site for geosynchronous orbit launches. Xichang Satellite Launch Centre is situated in Xichang, Sichuan Province, south-western China. The launch pad is at 102.0 degrees East and 28.2 degrees North. The head office of the launch centre is located in Xichang City, about 65 kilometers away. Xichang Airport is 50 km away. A dedicated railway and highway lead directly to the launch site. More...

Double Star Chronology


2003 December 29 - . 19:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC1. Launch Pad: LC1?. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-2C. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 2C CZ2C-22 (75).
  • Tan Ce 1 - . Payload: Double Star 1, DSP-E. Mass: 350 kg (770 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Double Star. Decay Date: 2007-10-14 . USAF Sat Cat: 28140 . COSPAR: 2003-061A. Apogee: 78,051 km (48,498 mi). Perigee: 555 km (344 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Summary: Equatorial member of a pair of Chinese-European magnetospheric research satellites carrying surplus instrumentation from the ESA Cluster program. First CZ-2C launch from Xichang..

2004 July 25 - . 07:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-2C. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 2C CZ2C-24 (77).
  • Tan Ce 2 - . Payload: Double Star 2, DSP-P. Mass: 660 kg (1,450 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Manufacturer: DFH. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Double Star. USAF Sat Cat: 28382 . COSPAR: 2004-029A. Apogee: 38,574 km (23,968 mi). Perigee: 655 km (406 mi). Inclination: 90.0000 deg. Period: 695.10 min. Summary: Delayed from June, July 20.

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