Long March 3

The Long March 3 (Chinese: 长征三号火箭), also known as the Changzheng 3, CZ-3 and LM-3, was a Chinese orbital carrier rocket design. They were all launched from Launch Area 3 at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. It was a 3-stage rocket, and was mostly used to place DFH-2-class communications satellites into geosynchronous transfer orbits. It was complemented and later replaced by the more powerful Long March 3A, which has an improved third stage.

Long March 3
Long March 3
FunctionCarrier rocket
Country of originChina
Height43.25 metres (141.9 ft)[1]
Diameter3.35 metres (11.0 ft)[1]
Mass204,000 kilograms (450,000 lb)[1]
Payload to LEO
Mass5,000 kilograms (11,000 lb)[2]
Payload to GTO
Mass1,500 kilograms (3,300 lb)[2]
Associated rockets
FamilyLong March
DerivativesLong March 3A
Launch history
Launch sitesLA-3, XSLC
Total launches13
Partial failure(s)1
First flight29 January 1984
Last flight25 June 2000
First stage
Length23.49 m
Diameter3.35 m
Empty mass9,378 kg (20,675 lb)
Gross mass153,070 kg (337,460 lb)
Propellant mass143,692 kg (316,787 lb)
Engines4 YF-21B
Thrust2,961.6 kN (665,800 lbf)
Specific impulse2,556.2 m/s (260.66 s)
Burn time121 s
FuelN2O4 / UDMH
Second stage
Length9.47 m
Diameter3.35 m
Empty mass3,599 kg (7,934 lb)
Gross mass39,440 kg (86,950 lb)
Propellant mass35,841 kg (79,016 lb)
Engines1 YF-24D
(1 x YF-22D (Main))
(4 x YF-23F (Vernier))
Thrust741.4 kN (166,700 lbf) (Main)
47.1 kN (10,600 lbf) (Vernier)
Specific impulse2,922.4 m/s (298.00 s) (Main)
2,762 m/s (281.6 s) (Vernier)
Burn time130 s
FuelN2O4 / UDMH
Third stage
Length10.36 m
Diameter2.25 m
Empty mass1,965 kg (4,332 lb)
Gross mass10,700 kg (23,600 lb)
Propellant mass8,731 kg (19,249 lb)
Engines1 YF-73
Thrust44.43 kN (9,990 lbf)
Specific impulse4,119 m/s (420.0 s)
Burn time729 s
FuelLH2 / LOX

List of launchesEdit

Flight number Date (UTC) Launch site Payload Orbit Result
1 January 29, 1984
LA-3, XSLC STTW 1 GTO (intended) Partial Failure
2 April 8, 1984
LA-3, XSLC STTW 2 GTO Success
3 February 1, 1986
LA-3, XSLC DFH-2-1 GTO Success
4 March 7, 1988
LA-3, XSLC DFH-2A-1 (ChinaSat 1) GTO Success
5 December 22, 1988
LA-3, XSLC DFH-2A-2 (ChinaSat 2) GTO Success
6 February 4, 1990
LA-3, XSLC DFH-2A-3 (ChinaSat 3) GTO Success
7 April 7, 1990
LA-3, XSLC AsiaSat 1 GTO Success
8 December 28, 1991
LA-3, XSLC DFH-2A-4 (ChinaSat 4) GTO (intended) Failure
9 July 21, 1994
LA-3, XSLC APStar 1 GTO Success
10 July 3, 1996
LA-3, XSLC APStar 1A GTO Success
11 August 18, 1996
LA-3, XSLC ChinaSat 7 GTO (intended) Failure
12 June 10, 1997
LA-3, XSLC Fengyun 2A GTO Success
13 June 25, 2000
LA-3, XSLC Fengyun 2B GTO Success

Launch failuresEdit

Dong Fang Hong 2 launch failureEdit

On January 29, 1984, a LM-3 rocket failed during launch. The third stage failed 4 s after restart for GTO insertion of the satellite, due to incorrect mixture ratio in the engine gas generator, which caused high temperatures and burned out the turbine casing. However, many planned tests on the experimental communications spacecraft were still carried out in the resulting elliptical orbit.

ChinaSat 4 launch failureEdit

On December 28, 1991, a LM-3 rocket failed during launch. The third-stage engine suffered a loss of turbine speed and combustion pressure 58 s after re-igniting for the second burn for GTO insertion and shut down completely 135 s after re-ignition. Loss of pressure in the high-pressure helium supply used for engine control had reduced the propellant flow.

ChinaSat 7 launch failureEdit

On August 18, 1996 a LM-3 rocket failed during launch. The third-stage engine shut down roughly 40 s earlier than planned because of a fire in the LH2 injector of the gas generator. Insufficient purging had permitted oxygen to freeze in the gas generator during flight.


  1. ^ a b c Mark Wade. "CZ-3". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 2008-06-01. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
  2. ^ a b Gunter Krebs. "CZ-3 (Chang Zheng-3)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2008-04-27.