As it was announced by Xinhua news agency on March 2016, China would like to extend their range of launch vehicles of light rockets launch from mobile platform called Kuaizhou.
First news on Kuaizhou-11 mentioned about first launch in late 2016 with. Now, according to People’s Daily Online, first launch is set for early 2017, but preceded by launch of another Kuaizhou rocket. According to website, head of the space department of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. (CASIC), Mr. Zhang Di confirmed, that Kuaizhou-11 will be launched soon after launch of Kuaizhou-1 with Jilin video satellite on atop. CASIC would like to offer small launch vehicles launch from mobile platforms on commercial market and launch campaign planned for 2016/2017 is kind of demonstration of Kuaizhou rockets possibilities. For the moment CASIC would like to find customers for at least ten Kuaizhou rockets in nearest future. In spite of launches, China also continues change of their space industry with establishing of first commercial company able to offer launch services. As it was stated on March 2016 by chief model designer from China Sanjiang Space Group (CSSG designed Kuaizhou-1 and Kuaizhou-2) Hu Shengyun:
“Commercialization can help us make our mark in the market, as it will reduce the cost in satellite development and launch services,”
Now it was officially confirmed, that CASIC Rocket Technology Co., Ltd. was registered in Wuhan as first commercial launch service provider in China. It will operate Kuaizhou-1, Kuaizhou-2 and Kuaizhou-11 in future. It means, that China will offer quite new service on global space market apart from CNSA: launching light rocket from mobile platforms 24 hours from order with time of full mission preparation in only few weeks.
Kuaizhou rockets are successors of first Chinese light launch vehicle called Kaituozhe-1. It was designed in the early 2000s and was modification of Dong Feng 21 MRBM. It was based on three solid fueled stages and liquid fueled upper stage with total length at 13.6 m and diameter at 1.4 m. Rocket was able to lift 50 kg of payload to SSO orbit (orbit with altitude of 400 km). Kaituozhe 1 was launched twice: on 2002 and 2003 from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, unfortunately both launches were not successful. During first flight second stage failed and second test launch anomaly was caused by the navigation system and payload separation device. Developing of the next generation of Kaituozhe-1 started on 2009. It was basing on Kaituozhe design, but diameter was increased to 1.7 m, height was increased to 18 m and mass to 32 t. Rocket was developed by China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation and still was based on three solid fueled stages, but upper stage became integrated part of payload. Rocket was named Kaituozhe and it was able to deliver 430 kg to SSO. Rocket was designed as highly mobile solution transported by TEL vehicle based on Wanshan (WS) truck and launched from vertical position from special movable launch platform. Kuaizhou-1 was launched on 25 September 2013 from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center with small imaging satellite equipped with CCD camera on atop. Satellite was placed on 276 km x 293 km orbit with inclination at 90.15°. On 21 November 2014 CSNA performed next successful launch of Kuaizhou, with Kuaizhou-2 satellite on atop from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It was stated by official sources that it was general monitoring and observation satellite. Launch planned for the end of 2016 will be third mission of Kuaizhou rocket.