CTS (rocket stage)


Country of originChina
Used onLong March 2C third stage.
General characteristics
Height0.9 m (35 in)[1]
Diameter0.54 m (21 in)[1]
Gross mass160 kg (350 lb)[1]
Propellant mass121.7 kg (268 lb)[1]
Associated stages
Derived fromSD
Launch history
Total launchesSD: 7
(stage only)
SD: 7
Lower stage
First flightSD: 1997-09-01
CTS: 2003-12-29
Last flightSD: 1999-06-12
CTS: 2004-07-26
Engines1 FG-47 SRM[2][3]
16 thrusters[1]
Thrust10.780 kN (2,423 lbf)[4]
Specific impulse286 seconds (2.80 km/s)[1]
Burn time35s[1]
PropellantHTPB (SRM)[5]
hydrazine (monopropellant thrusters)[1]

The CTS is an upper stage developed by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT) to improve the performance of the Long March 2C to high (>400 km of altitude) LEO missions like SSO. The two stage LM-2 delivers the payload and stage to an elliptical orbit with the desired apogee and the CTS points the stack in the direction of the correct vector and activates the solid rocket motor (SRM) main engine to circularize it. It then dispenses the spacecraft and does a passivisation procedure.[1]


It was initially developed as the SD stage for the initial deployment of the initial deployment of the Iridium constellation in 1997.[6] In the 1999 LM-2C User Manual it was offered as the CTS option and flew to deploy the Double Star mission. Later it flew twice as part of the dual deployment system SMA, first for the deployment of the Huanjing 1A and 1B[7] and in 2012 for the Shijian 9A and Shijian 9A technology demonstrator missions.[8][9]

Date Carrier Rocket Designation Launch site Mission Result
1997-09-01 Long March 2C SD Taiyuan Iridium-MFS 1 / Iridium-MFS 2[6] Success
1997-12-08 Long March 2C SD Taiyuan Iridium 42 / Iridium 44 Success
1998-03-25 Long March 2C SD Taiyuan Iridium 51 / Iridium 61 Success
1998-05-02 Long March 2C SD Taiyuan Iridium 69 / Iridium 71 Success
1998-08-19 Long March 2C SD Taiyuan Iridium 76 / Iridium 78 Success
1998-12-19 Long March 2C SD Taiyuan Iridium 88 / Iridium 89 Success
1999-06-10 Long March 2C SD Taiyuan Iridium 92 / Iridium 93 Success
2003-12-29 Long March 2C CTS Xichang Double Star Equatorial (TC 1) Success
2004-07-26 Long March 2C CTS Taiyuan Double Star Polar (TC 2) Success
2008-09-06 Long March 2C SMA Taiyuan Huanjing 1A / Huanjing 1B Success
2012-10-14 Long March 2C SMA Taiyuan Shijian 9A[8] / Shijian 9A[9] Success


It is composed of the Spacecraft Adapter and Orbital Maneuver System (OMS). The Spacecraft Adapter is customized to the user's requirement, particularly in the separation environment and pointing accuracy.[1] The OMS is composed by:

  • Main structure
  • Control system (avionics)
  • Telemetry system
  • Solid rocket motor (SRM)
  • Reaction control system (RCS)


The basic system has been offered in three different versions:

  • SD: Initial version used exclusively for the Iridium fleet deployment.[6][10][11][12][13]
  • CTS: Improved commercial version offered in the 1999 User Manual with 3 axis stabilization.[7][11][14]
  • SMA: Government version which includes a dual payload adapter.[15]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Chapter 2.4 – CTS Introduction". LM-2C User's Manual. Issue 1999. CASC. 1999. pp. 2–15. Retrieved 2015-07-08.
  2. ^ Norbert Bgügge. "Some Chinese solid fuel aerospace motors". B14643.DE. Archived from the original on 2015-09-26. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
  3. ^ Norbert Bgügge. "Propulsion CZ-2, CZ-2C, CZ-2D". B14643.DE. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
  4. ^ "CZ-2C/CTS Long March Space Launch Vehicles". GlobalSecurity. Retrieved 2015-07-08.
  5. ^ Norbert Bgügge. "Chang Zheng CZ-2C & CZ-2D". B14643.DE. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
  6. ^ a b c Krebs, Gunter Dirk (2013-09-21). "CZ-2C (2) SD (Chang Zheng-2C (2) SD)". Retrieved 2015-07-25.
  7. ^ a b Krebs, Gunter Dirk (2014-04-05). "HJ 1A, 1B (SMMS 1)". Retrieved 2015-07-25.
  8. ^ a b Krebs, Gunter Dirk (2014-04-02). "Shijian 9A". Retrieved 2015-07-25.
  9. ^ a b Krebs, Gunter Dirk (2014-04-03). "Shijian 9B". Retrieved 2015-07-25.
  10. ^ "CZ-2C/SD Space Launch Vehicle". GlobalSecurity. Retrieved 2015-07-08.
  11. ^ a b "CZ-2C/SD". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 2013-11-30. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
  12. ^ "SpaB-54". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 2015-08-24. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
  13. ^ Norbert Bgügge. "Photo Gallery CZ-2CS/SD". B14643.DE. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
  14. ^ Norbert Bgügge. "Photo Gallery CZ-2CS/SM". B14643.DE. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
  15. ^ Norbert Bgügge. "Photo Gallery CZ-2CS-4/SMA". B14643.DE. Retrieved 2015-07-25.