Re-Entry: Long March 11 Rocket Body

Photo: CASC/Weibo

The upper stage of a Long March 11 rocket re-entered the atmosphere on April 29, 2018 after only three days in orbit. Lifting a cluster of five commercial Earth-imaging satellites into a 500-Kilometer orbit, the CZ-11 fourth stage used leftover propellant for a partial de-orbit maneuver, lowering its perigee to 120 Kilometers to significantly accelerate its orbital decay.

NORAD ID: 43444
Origin: China
Object: CZ-11 R/B
Type: Long March 11 Fourth Stage
Inclination: 97.3°
Launched: April 26, 2018 – 4:42 UTC
Launch Vehicle: Long March 11
Launch Site: Jiquan Satellite Launch Center

Launched four OHS-2 and one OVS-2 satellites for Zhuhai Orbita Control Engineering Ltd.

Initial Orbit: 118 x 466 km, Inc: 97.3°

Re-Entry Prediction: April 29, 2018 – 21:39 UTC ±8 Min.
Re-Entry Zone: Antarctica / Pacific Ocean

Technical Description: Exact details on the fourth stage of China’ s new Long March 11 launcher are not available. It is reportedly built around a YF-50 main engine and in a nominal mission conducts the orbital circularization after the three CZ-11 stages finish their job. Its initial orbit showed that it is capable of performing orbit-lowering maneuvers after payload separation.

Re-Entry Orbit
Image: Spaceflight101/Orbitron