Monday, July 26, 2010

China's Long March engine plans justified by manned Moon program

China's Long March 5 heavy-lift, as modeled for a recent exhibition. Power profiles for secondary stage engines now being tested exceed requirements for geostationary orbit. China's missile marketers claim the extra power can justified by a manned lunar landing program.

Anatoly Zak

According to Li Tongyu, general manager of the marketing department at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), engineers are currently studying a rocket engine capable of generating thrust of 600 tonnes.

If China succeeds in the development of such power, it would increase the nation's capabilities in space by orders of magnitude.

For comparison, China is currently well in the development of its most powerful rocket to date - Long March-5 - that would sport engines with the thrust of 120 tonnes.

"Rockets (with 600-tonne thrust engines) would only be justified for things like sending humans to the Moon, if such projects are approved," Li Tongyu told BBC News.

Read the article, HERE.