China to launch new manned rocket and heavy launcher for moon landings at Airshow China



The Long March-7 Y3 rocket, carrying the Tianzhou-2 cargo spacecraft, takes off from the Wenchang spacecraft launch site in southern China’s Hainan Province on May 29, 2021 (Photo: Xinhua)

Coming in the midst of the busy but fluid execution of the country’s missions to build its most ambitious manned space project – the Chinese Space Station – the Chinese Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), the country’s largest organization for research, development and production of missiles and carrier rockets, will debut with a next-generation manned carrier rocket and heavy launcher, at this year’s Chinese airshow in Zhuhai, southern Guangdong province. China), from September 28 to October 3.

The rocket and launcher are expected to support China’s manned lunar probes. The next-generation carrier rocket, freshly developed by CALT, will be the benchmark rocket to launch the country’s next-generation manned spacecraft.

Composed of three main stages and an evacuation tower as well as a conical nose, the rocket is 90 meters long and weighs about 2,000 tons at launch, the CALT Global Times learned Thursday.

It is capable of sending a 25-tonne payload directly into lunar transit orbit or a 70-tonne payload into near-earth orbit, CALT said in a press release it sent to the Global Times.

It can also combine with multiple modules to formulate a stream of rocket types that can carry payloads of 40 to 70 tonnes in low earth orbit or 10 to 32 tonnes in geostationary transfer orbit. It can also allow the reuse of vertical take-off and vertical landing, when using multiple engines in parallel configuration, CALT said.

The new rocket will be used to conduct China’s manned lunar probe missions, CALT noted. It has completed ignition tests of the new pump rear oscillation high pressure supplemental combustion engine, solid adjustable thrust attitude control motor and new non-toxic attitude control motor.

The name of the next-generation manned rocket has not been officially disclosed. However, many space observers reached by the Global Times have speculated that it might be called the “921 rocket.” The number 921 refers to when the inhabited space project was first approved by the state authority 29 years ago, on September 21.

Long Lehao, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and chief designer of Long March rockets, previously said that such rockets intended for manned lunar landings would be called Long March-5 DY, an acronym for the Chinese term dengyue, or lunar landing. .

The heavy thrower, who is also expected to be named Long March-9, is also set to make his Zhuhai debut.

It is developed to be the most powerful member of the Chinese launcher family and is designated to execute manned lunar probes, among other deep space exploration missions, the CALT said.

The feasibility study of the type started in 2010 by the Chinese National Space Agency. The 9.5-meter-diameter rocket has four boosters 5 meters in diameter, each carrying two 4,800 kilonewton liquid oxygen methane engines, according to the academy.

With three main stages, it can launch payloads of up to 140 tons in the new Earth orbit, 50 tons in the lunar transit orbit and 35 tons in the transit orbit of Mars.

It is scheduled to make its maiden flight around 2028, CALT has revealed.

He also added that he will support deep space exploration missions as well as the construction of a moon base, ensuring that the country’s launcher technology is scaled to a global level by 2030.


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