Usually launch vehicles are carried out withground-based cosmodromes such as Baikonur and Cape Canaveral, but in the history there are several missions that started from floating platforms. Despite its complexity, this approach is more preferable for space agencies, because by launching a rocket from the equatorial zone, you can increase the mass of the output load and reduce energy costs. The beginning of June 2019 was a significant time for China, because the aerospace science and technology corporation CASC first launched the Changzheng-11 launch vehicle from a floating platform.
Missile launch from floating platforms is consideredmost preferred because they can be located in the equatorial zone, which opens up many different possibilities for space agencies. For example, it is important for some satellites to go into orbit as smoothly as possible, and the accelerating units have to spend a lot of energy on tilt adjustment - this is simply not necessary at the equator. Also, water platforms are located far from populated areas, and launches will definitely not hurt anyone.
The rocket Long March 11 launched from the water platform
Developed by CASC floating platformmeasures 110 by 80 meters, and half submerged. The launch complex, designed to hold the launch vehicle, is located in the middle. The platform was located on the Yellow Sea, which lies off the east coast of Asia west of the Korean Peninsula.
The first rocket that was launched from the newcomplex, became a four-stage "Changzheng-11" (also called Long March 11) with a lifting capacity of up to 700 kilograms. The launch was not done in the most standard way - first the rocket soared into the sky due to the pressure in the launcher, and only then turned on its own engine. The launch was successful, and the rocket put as many as seven satellites into orbit.
Water platforms are used in spaceindustry much more often than it seems. For example, the company SpaceX actively uses them for landing reusable rockets - the first successful landing was made in 2016. Remember how it was?
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