China completes propulsion system test for manned lunar mission launch vehicle

(Xinhua) 10:17, June 15, 2024

BEIJING, June 14 (Xinhua) -- China on Friday completed a test run of the propulsion system for the first stage of the Long March-10 carrier rocket, the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALVT), its developer, has announced.

The Long March-10 carrier rocket is a three-and-a-half-stage rocket, developed for China's manned lunar mission that will launch new-generation manned spacecraft and lunar landers. It has an approximate length of 92.5 meters, a lift-off weight of some 2,189 tonnes, a lift-off thrust of about 2,678 tonnes, and a payload capacity for travel to an Earth-moon transfer orbit of no less than 27 tonnes.

Another rocket, a derivative of the Long-March-10 carrier rocket, does not have boosters and is capable of sending astronauts and cargo to China's space station, according to its developer, which operates under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

The non-booster rocket has a length of about 67 meters, a lift-off weight near 740 tonnes, a lift-off thrust of approximately 892 tonnes, and a payload capacity for transfer to a near-Earth orbit of no less than 14 tonnes.

During Friday's test, the propulsion system's engine started normally, operated stably and shut down on schedule, and all parameters tested were normal, CALVT said.

The propulsion system test is the most complicated and difficult ground test undertaken during the development of carrier rockets.

Friday's test was the largest propulsion system test that has been carried out to date in China's launch vehicle development, with three YF-100K engines ignited simultaneously and ground thrust reaching 382 tonnes.

Its completion means the Long March-10 carrier rocket has entered the fast track in its large-scale ground testing and development, CALVT said.

According to a subsequent development plan, the second first-stage propulsion system test for the Long March-10 carrier rocket will be carried out soon to verify other operating conditions.

(Web editor: Zhang Wenjie, Hongyu)


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