Long March 3B launch Vehicle (LM-3B)

Launch Services



To meet demand of international satellite launch market, especially for high power and heavy communications satellites, the development of LM-3B launch vehicle was started in 1986 on the basis of the fight proven technology of Long March launch vehicles.

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LM-3B Structure
1. Payload Faring
2. Payload
3. Payload Adapter
4. Vehicle Equipment Bay
5. LH2 Tank
6. LOX Tank
7. Inter-stage Section
8. Third Stage Engine
9. Oxidizer Tank
10. Inter-tank Section
11. Fuel Tank
12. Second Stage Vernier Engine
13. Second Stage Main Engine
14. Inter-stage Truss
15. Oxidizer Tank
16. Fuel Tank
17. First Stage Engine
18. Strap-on Booster Cone
19. Strap-on Booster Oxidizer Tank
20. Strap-on Booster Fuel Tank
21. Stabilizer
22. Strap-on Booster Engine

Technical Data

LM-3B is the most powerful launch vehicle in Long March fleet based on LM- 3A as its core stage with four liquid boosters strapped on the frst stage. The development of LM-3B has been made upon good heritage of mature and flight proven technology of Long March family of launch vehicles. Its GTO capacity is 5,100kg.

In recent years, the LM-3B/E (Enhanced Version) launch vehicle is developed on the basis of LM-3B, increasing the GTO capacity up to 5,500kg. LM-3B/E has nearly the same configurations with LM-3B except its enlarged core stage and boosters. On May 14, 2007, the flight of LM-3B/E was performed successfully, accurately sending the NigcomSat-1 into pre-determined orbit.

With the GTO launch capability of 5,500kg, LM-3B/E is dedicated for launching heavy GEO communications satellite.

Stage Booster 1st Stage 2nd Stage 3rd Stage
Stage Diameter (m) 2.25 3.35 3.35 3.00
Stage Length (m) 15.326
9.943 12.375
Mass of Propellants (t) 37.746×4 171.775 49.605 18.193
41.5´4* 186.6*
Propellant N2O4/UDMH LOX/LH2
Engine YF-25 YF-21C YF-24E
YF-22E (Main)
YF-23C (Vernier)
Engine Thrust (KN) 740.4×4 2961.6 742 (Main)
11.8×4 (Vernier)
Engine Specific Impulse
2556.2 2556.2 2922.57 (Main)
2910.5 (Vernier)
Booster 4
Lift-off Mass (t) 426/458.97*
Overall Length (m) 54.838/56.326*
Fairing Diameter (m) 4.00/4.20
Fairing Length (m) 9.56
GTO Launch Capacity (kg) 5100/5500*
* LM-3B/E launch vehicle

(as of April 1, 2010)
Launch Records
No. Flight No. Launch Date Payload Mission Launch Center Result
1 LM-3B F01 15 Feb. 1996 Intelsat-7A GTO XSLC* Failure
2 LM-3B F02 20 Aug. 1997 MABUHAYSAT GTO XSLC Success
3 LM-3B F03 17 Oct. 1997 APSTAR-II R GTO XSLC Success
4 LM-3B F04 30 May. 1998 CHINASTAR-1 GTO XSLC Success
5 LM-3B F05 18 July. 1998 SINOSAT-1 GTO XSLC Success
6 LM-3B F06 12 April. 2005 APSTAR-VI GTO XSLC Success
7 LM-3B F07 29 Oct. 2006 SINOSAT-2 GTO XSLC Success
8 LM-3B/E F08 14 May. 2007 NIGCOMSAT-1 GTO XSLC Success
9 LM-3B F09 5 Jul. 2007 CHINASAT-6B GTO XSLC Success
10 LM-3B F10 9 Jun. 2008 CHINASAT-9 GTO XSLC Success
11 LM-3B/E F11 30 Oct. 2008 VENESAT-1 GTO XSLC Success
12 LM-3B F12 31 Aug. 2009 PALAPA-D GTO XSLC Anomaly
* Xichang Satellite Launch Center