China to launch 100-tonne heavy-lift carrier rocket around 2028

(People's Daily Online) 13:43, September 30, 2021

A heavy-lift carrier rocket in China able to carry a payload of 100 metric tons is expected to be launched around 2028, according to the 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, or Airshow China 2021, that opened in Zhuhai, south China's Guangdong province on Sept. 28.

Models of China's new-gen carrier rockets are being exhibited at the Airshow China 2021 event in Zhuhai, south China's Guangdong province. The largest one is a heavy-lift carrier rocket. (Photo courtesy of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology)

The rocket will be employed for manned lunar missions and deep-space exploration missions.

A model of the new-gen heavy-lift carrier rocket is being exhibited at the Airshow China 2021 event. With a perimeter of nearly 10 meters, it has four boosters. Every one of the boosters is equipped with two liquid oxygen/kerosene engines. The first stage has four liquid oxygen/kerosene engines; the second stage has two liquid hydrogen engines; the third stage has four liquid hydrogen engines.

Carrying different numbers of boosters, the new rocket series will be able to send spacecraft weighing between 50 to 140 metric tons to low-Earth orbit, and those weighing 15 to 50 metric tons to Earth-moon transfer orbit. Besides, it can also carry spacecraft of 12 to 44 metric tons to Earth-Mars transfer orbit.

From being assessed to the official launch of technical plans, the heavy-lift rocket project has gone through over 10 years of development, said Liu Bing, deputy chief designer of the designing department for the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, the developer of the rocket. According to him, the general plan of the project is still being further optimized.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)