BEIJING, Mar. 1 (China Space News) -- China is planning its first sea-launch of satellites carried by a Long March rocket.
Yang Yiqiang, commander-in-chief of the Long March-11 rockets project of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, said that 2018 would see five launches of Long March-11 rockets, with four missions for commercial payloads on land, and one at sea.
"The sea launch will meet the growing needs for launching near-equatorial and low-inclination satellites, and improve the rockets' adaptability," Yang said. "The solid-propellant Long March-11 rockets have strong quick-response ability with low prices, which provide better, competitive services in space commerce."
Launches in the equator region are more fuel-efficient. They cost less but demand a more stable rocket performance, which is affected by sea waves and high temperatures.