China to develop new-generation carrier rocket in 7 to 8 years

China plans to spend seven or eight years developing a new-generation large carrier rocket, called "Long March V", to be used for launching a space station, said Huang Chunping, former commander-in-chief of the launch vehicle system used by the country's manned space mission and a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

China's 120-ton class liquid oxygen/kerosene engine for the new-generation carrier rocket went through a whole-vehicle test in the middle of 2006 at the Academy of Aerospace Propulsion Technology affiliated with the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), said Huang. The increase from 9 to 25 tons in the carrying capacity of the "Long March" is a technological leap.

The country will use a "Long March IIIA" rocket to carry its first lunar orbiter "Chang'e I" into space in the latter half of this year, while spaceship "Shenzhou VII" will be launched by "Long March IIF" in 2008, Huang confirmed.

By People's Daily Online

People's Daily Online ---