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China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology

The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT) is the premier space launch vehicle manufacturer in China and one of the major launch service providers in the world. CALT is a subordinate of the larger China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). It was established in 1957 and is headquartered in the southern suburbs of Beijing.

China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology
Simplified Chinese中国运载火箭技术研究院
Simplified Chinese火箭院

Its major contribution to Chinese launch capability has been the manufacture of the Long March family of rockets. CALT has 31,600 employees[1] and at least 13 research facilities.[2] The current Chief Designer is Long Lehao.[3]

CALT is also planning two spaceplanes. They would both be single-stage to space sub-orbital rocketplanes. One would be a 10-ton 4-passenger plane that would fly to 100 km at Mach 6. The other would be a 100-ton 20-passenger plane that would fly to 130 km at Mach 8. They would be equipped with liquid methane/liquid oxygen rocket engines. The larger spaceplane would also be able to carry a strap-on space rocket, making it function as the first stage of a two-stage to orbit space launch platform. That rocket would launch above the Karman line, and lift 1–2 tons to LEO.[4]


The subsidiary China Rocket developed Jielong-1 [Wikidata] (also known as Smart Dragon 1), a rocket to launch up to 200 kg to a sun-synchronous orbit. The maiden flight of Jielong 1 on 17 August 2019 was successful.[5]



  1. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Chinese Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology – CALT". Retrieved 19 August 2005.
  3. ^ Lin, Jeffrey; Singer, P.W. (July 19, 2018). "China's super-sized space plans may involve help from Russia". Popular Science. Archived from the original on July 20, 2018. With this size and lift, China's Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT) Chief Designer Long Lehao announced that the Long March 9 will be capable of lifting 140 metric tons to low Earth orbit (LEO), 50 tons to Earth-Moon transfer orbit, and 44 tons to Earth-Mars transfer orbit (140 tons is right between the projected lifts of NASA's Space Launch System (130 tons) and SpaceX's 150 ton BFR).
  4. ^ Jeffrey Lin (7 October 2016). "China's Private Space Industry Prepares To Compete With SpaceX And Blue Origin". Popular Science.
  5. ^ "China's Jielong 1 smallsat launcher successful on first flight". 17 August 2019.

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