Chinese space tug. Study 2008. Upper stage / space tug - in development 2004. The upper stage for the Chinese Next Generation Launch Vehicle was a modification of the CZ-3B upper stage.
The stage used a version of the Lox/LH2 YF-75 engine, simplified for improved reliability. The stage was of hammerhead form, with the upper LH2 tank with a diameter of 5 m, and the lower liquid oxygen tank with a diameter of 3.35 m. The total propellant was 22,900 kg with a burn time of over 600 seconds. Empty mass had not yet been released and was estimated. Gimbaled engine used a gas-generator turbopump.
Gross mass: 26,000 kg (57,000 lb).
More... - Chronology...
Unfuelled mass: 3,100 kg (6,800 lb).
Height: 12.00 m (39.00 ft).
Diameter: 3.35 m (10.99 ft).
Span: 5.00 m (16.40 ft).
Thrust: 156.00 kN (35,070 lbf).
Specific impulse: 448 s.
YF-75 Beijing Wan Yuan lox/lh2 rocket engine. 78.5 kN. In development. Gas-generator turbopump. Gimballed engine. Isp=440s. First flight 1994. More...
Lox/LH2 Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Liquid hydrogen was identified by all the leading rocket visionaries as the theoretically ideal rocket fuel. It had big drawbacks, however - it was highly cryogenic, and it had a very low density, making for large tanks. The United States mastered hydrogen technology for the highly classified Lockheed CL-400 Suntan reconnaissance aircraft in the mid-1950's. The technology was transferred to the Centaur rocket stage program, and by the mid-1960's the United States was flying the Centaur and Saturn upper stages using the fuel. It was adopted for the core of the space shuttle, and Centaur stages still fly today. More...
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