The debut launch of China’s Long March 11 rocket delivered five objects to orbit, tracking data provided by the Joint Space Operations Center shows.
Long March 11, an all-solid launcher and part of China’s new line of rockets, lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 1:41:40 UTC on Friday and successfully reached its target Sun Synchronous Orbit for the release of four satellites consisting of three 2U CubeSats referred to as Tianwang-1 A, B & C as well as a larger payload known as Pujiang-1.
The following tracking data related to the CZ-11 launch were issued:
2015-051A – 476 x 483km, Inc: 97.3°
2015-051B – 474 x 482km, Inc: 97.3°
2015-051C – 466 x 486km, Inc: 97.3°
2015-051D – 467 x 485km, Inc: 97.3°
2015-051E – 142 x 577km, Inc: 97.3°
This data shows that the CZ-11 fourth stage conducted an orbit reduction maneuver to significantly lower its perigee and thus accelerate its orbital decay for re-entry within a period of days. It is now understood that the fourth stage of the Long March 11 is a solid-fueled rocket motor based on apogee kick motors used for Geostationary Satellites with an added liquid-fueled attitude control system which was employed for the orbit reduction maneuver shortly after spacecraft separation.