China is aiming at tapping the growth potential of domestic and global commercial space launches. Now China has made preparations to present a challenge to India. According to a Times of India report, China recently revealed a satellite rocket called ‘Smart Dragon’.
China unveiled its new generation of commercial carrier rockets that could carry up to 1.5 tone payloads as it sets to compete with ISRO’s mini-PSLV rocket or small satellite launch vehicle (SSLV) by the year-end to draw attention to the lucrative global space launch market. Isro’s SSLV is a rocket-on-demand developed for commercial launches. The new rocket series, that are codenamed with Smart Dragon (SD) family, comes with a cluster of solid-fuelled rockets and a Tenglong liquid-propellant rocket that was unveiled by the China Rocket. It is a commercial space wing of the country’s leading rocket-maker China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology.
China’s Smart Dragon satellite family includes SD-1, SD-2, and SD-3. The SD-1 launcher took its first flight on 17th August. It can carry satellites of 200 kg capacity. The SD-2 has a capacity of 500 kg and will launch in 2020. The SD-30 has a capacity of 1.5 tons and will launch in 2021.
Though China is way behind India, the recent launch will try to take its place.