Encyclopedia Astronautica
CZ-4A



cz4a.jpg
CZ-4A
Chinese orbital launch vehicle. The CZ-4 was developed and manufactured by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology. Its first stage was essentially the same as that of the CZ-3 and the second stage was identical to that of the CZ-3. The CZ-4's third stage, however, was a development, featuring a thin wall common intertank bulkhead tankage and two-engine cluster with both engines gimbling about two perpendicular axes. The third stage engine cluster connected to the tank aft bulkhead through the engine bay. The CZ-4 had two payload fairing configurations: Type-A and Type-B. The CZ-4 was designed for launching satellites into polar and sun-synchronous orbits.

The CZ-4's typical payload capability is 1,650kg into a 600km sun-synchronous orbitsand 4,680 kg into a 200km circular orbit. On September 7, 1988, the CZ-4A made its first flight, successfully launching China's first experimental meteorological satellite. Another meteorological satellite was successfully launched by a CZ-4A on September 3, 1990.

After the development of FB-1 launch vehicle, the Shanghai Administration of Astronautics was assigned development of the CZ-4, using the CZ-3C as the first two stages. The CZ-4's Chief Designer was Sun Jingliang. The three stage liquid propellant booster was designed to place satellites into sun-synchronous or geostationary orbits. The third stage used two new design storable propellant gimbaled rocket engines with a vacuum thrust of 50 kN (5.1 tonnes). The total length of the vehicle was 41.9 m, maximum diameter 3.35 m, lift-off mass 240 tonnes lift-off thrust 2942 kN (300 tonnes thrust). It could send a satellite of 1400 kg into a sun-synchronous orbit of 900 km altitude. The Long March-4 launch vehicle started its conceptual design in 1978; it was assigned to be the launch vehicle of Fengyun-l meteorological satellite in March 1982, and its development work was started in the Shanghai Administration of Astronautics and the liquid rocket engine establishments of the Ministry of Aerospace Industry. The successful development of the Long March-4 launch vehicle added a booster for sun-synchronous satellite to the launch vehicle series of China and made a new contribution to the development of China's space carrier technology.

LEO Payload: 4,680 kg (10,310 lb) to a 200 km orbit. Payload: 1,100 kg (2,400 lb) to a GTO. Launch Price $: 30.000 million in 1985 dollars. Flyaway Unit Cost $: 9.500 million in 1994 dollars.

Stage Data - CZ-4A

  • Stage 1. 1 x CZ-4A-1. Gross Mass: 192,700 kg (424,800 lb). Empty Mass: 9,500 kg (20,900 lb). Thrust (vac): 3,265.143 kN (734,033 lbf). Isp: 289 sec. Burn time: 170 sec. Isp(sl): 259 sec. Diameter: 3.35 m (10.99 ft). Span: 6.00 m (19.60 ft). Length: 24.66 m (80.90 ft). Propellants: N2O4/UDMH. No Engines: 4. Engine: YF-20B. Other designations: L-180. Status: In Production.
  • Stage 2. 1 x CZ-4A-2. Gross Mass: 39,550 kg (87,190 lb). Empty Mass: 4,000 kg (8,800 lb). Thrust (vac): 831.005 kN (186,817 lbf). Isp: 295 sec. Burn time: 135 sec. Isp(sl): 260 sec. Diameter: 3.35 m (10.99 ft). Span: 3.35 m (10.99 ft). Length: 10.41 m (34.15 ft). Propellants: N2O4/UDMH. No Engines: 1. Engine: YF-25/23. Other designations: L-35. Status: In Production.
  • Stage 3. 1 x CZ-4A-3. Gross Mass: 15,150 kg (33,400 lb). Empty Mass: 1,000 kg (2,200 lb). Thrust (vac): 100.810 kN (22,663 lbf). Isp: 303 sec. Burn time: 400 sec. Isp(sl): 260 sec. Diameter: 2.90 m (9.50 ft). Span: 2.90 m (9.50 ft). Length: 1.92 m (6.29 ft). Propellants: N2O4/UDMH. No Engines: 2. Engine: YF-40. Other designations: L-14. Status: In Production.

AKA: Chang Zheng 4; Long March 4A; Chang Zheng-4A.
Status: Retired 1990.
Gross mass: 249,000 kg (548,000 lb).
Payload: 4,680 kg (10,310 lb).
Height: 41.90 m (137.40 ft).
Diameter: 3.35 m (10.99 ft).
Thrust: 2,960.00 kN (665,430 lbf).
Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).
First Launch: 1988.09.06.
Last Launch: 1990.09.03.
Number: 2 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • SJ Chinese communications technology satellite. First launch 1979.07.28. SJ (Shijian) series were Chinese scientific research, technological experiment and military operational satellites of a variety of configurations. More...
  • FY-1 Chinese earth weather satellite. 4 launches, 1988.09.06 (FY-1A) to 2002.05.15 (SJ-6A). The Feng Yun 1 meteorological satellites were launched into sun-synchronous 900 km, 99 deg inclination orbits by CZ-4 boosters from Taiyuan. More...

Associated Engines
  • YF-20B Beijing Wan Yuan N2O4/UDMH rocket engine. 816.3 kN. In production. Isp=289s. Boosted CZ-2C, CZ-2D, CZ-2E, CZ-2E(A), CZ-3A, CZ-3B, CZ-3C, CZ-4A. First flight 1988. More...
  • YF-25/23 Beijing Wan Yuan N2O4/UDMH rocket engine. 831 kN. In production. Cluster of YF-25 and 4 x YF-23 verniers. Isp=295s. First stage engine for CZ-2D, CZ-2E, CZ-2E(A), CZ-3A, CZ-3B, CZ-3C, CZ-4A. First flight 1988. More...
  • YF-40 Beijing Wan Yuan N2O4/UDMH rocket engine. 49 kN. Out of production. Isp=295s. Used on CZ-4A launch vehicle. First flight 1988. More...

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 Manufacturers and Agencies
  • CALT Chinese manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, Beijing, China. More...

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...

Associated Stages
  • CZ-4A-1 N2O4/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 192,700/9,500 kg. Thrust 3,265.14 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 289 seconds. More...
  • CZ-4A-2 N2O4/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 39,550/4,000 kg. Thrust 831.01 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 295 seconds. More...
  • CZ-4A-3 N2O4/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 15,150/1,000 kg. Thrust 100.81 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 303 seconds. More...

CZ-4A Chronology


1988 September 6 - . 20:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4A. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 4 CZ4-1 (19).
  • FY-1A - . Payload: Feng Yun 1A. Mass: 750 kg (1,650 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Technology. Type: Weather technology satellite. Spacecraft: FY-1. USAF Sat Cat: 19467 . COSPAR: 1988-080A. Apogee: 895 km (556 mi). Perigee: 875 km (543 mi). Inclination: 98.8000 deg. Period: 102.70 min. Summary: Experimental weather satellite. First use of new launch site and launch vehicle. Failed after 38 days due to problems with attitude control system..

1990 September 3 - . 00:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4A. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 4 CZ4-2 (24).
  • FY-1B - . Payload: Feng Yun 1B. Mass: 881 kg (1,942 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Technology. Type: Weather technology satellite. Spacecraft: FY-1. USAF Sat Cat: 20788 . COSPAR: 1990-081A. Apogee: 897 km (557 mi). Perigee: 875 km (543 mi). Inclination: 98.8000 deg. Period: 102.70 min. Summary: Experimental weather satellite. Operated for over a year..
  • QQW 2 - . Payload: QQW 1B. Mass: 4.00 kg (8.80 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: SJ. Decay Date: 1991-07-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 20790 . COSPAR: 1990-081C. Apogee: 629 km (390 mi). Perigee: 596 km (370 mi). Inclination: 99.0000 deg. Period: 97.00 min. Summary: QQW atmospheric balloon..
  • QQW 1 - . Payload: QQW 1A. Mass: 4.00 kg (8.80 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: SJ. Decay Date: 1991-03-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 20789 . COSPAR: 1990-081B. Apogee: 811 km (503 mi). Perigee: 789 km (490 mi). Inclination: 99.0000 deg. Period: 100.90 min. Summary: QQW atmospheric balloon..

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