In 1967, the United States launched a missile launch into space from a platform off the coast of Kenya. For many years then only Russia has proven that it has similar capabilities. But now China has also launched a rocket from the water for the first time. Specifically launched a transport rocket type Long March 11 on a platform in the Yellow Sea. The basis of the construction was a huge cargo ship. On board the rocket were seven satellites. Five of them are supposed to help improve communication on Earth. The other two are experimental weather satellites.
Rocket launches near the equator reduce costs
Basically, the ability to launch missiles from a ship brings with it a number of advantages. So the rocket launch can be done in this way as close to the equator. As a result, the rocket gains speed faster after launch due to the earth's rotation. The result: less fuel is needed. Ultimately, therefore, the same amount of material can be transported to space at a lower price. Alternatively, the reverse approach works: It can be realized for the otherwise incurred costs a larger payload. In addition, launching at sea is safer because falling parts may not pose such a great hazard.
The platform should also be accessible to other countries
China now wants to use the newly acquired skills to advance its own space program. Recently, the Chinese space agency was able to achieve a respectable success in this area: as the first nation managed the Middle Kingdom to land a spacecraft on the back of the moon . In the long term, Chinese astronauts will also be brought to the earth satellite. The rocket launches on the water should also be marketed internationally. Countries that do not have the necessary infrastructure themselves could then have their own satellites brought into space for a fee. This can be useful, for example, for many African countries that have no money for their own space program.
Via: New Atlas