Credit: © Mark Wade
Chinese orbital launch vehicle. China's family of new generation expendable launch vehicles began development in 2000. Boosters of various capabilities would be assembled from three modular stages of 2.25 m, 3.35 m and 5.0 m diameter. These would be powered by new variable-thrust 120 tonne thrust Lox/Kerosene engines or 50 tonne thrust Lox/LH2 engines.
China's family of new generation expendable launch vehicles were announced in February 2001, and modified descriptions were provided at the Wuzhai Air Show and IAC in late 2002. Propulsion system details and masses were released at the FAI in Bremen in September 2003. These modular stages were as follows:
- 2.25 m diameter module powered by one 120 tonne thrust Lox/Kerosene engine
- 3.35 m diameter module powered by two 120 tonne thrust Lox/Kerosene engines
- 5.0 m diameter module powered by two 50 tonne thrust Lox/LH2 engines
- 5.0 m diameter upper stage powered by two 8 tonne thrust Lox/LH2 engines (a derivative of the CZ-3B upper stage)
- 3.35 m diameter upper stage powered by four 15 tonne thrust Lox/Kerosene engines, evidently an indigenous Chinese development
- 2.25 m diameter upper stage for the light launch vehicle (probably the CZ-4A third stage)
- Common large payload fairing, 5.2 m in diameter and coming in three standard lengths.
The new launch vehicles were said to be designed for a 98% reliability as compared to 91% for existing Chinese designs. They were also said to be expected to be 20% cheaper than existing designs. Chief Designer for the new series was Long Lehao.
The new family would use a unique 'direct-to-pad' integration concept using highly automated systems with a total cycle time of only 20 days. The launch vehicle was to be assembled vertically on the launch pad as soon as the stages arrived at the site. It would be checked out in a mobile service tower (MST). In parallel to this the payload would be integrated and encapsulated in a separate encapsulation facility. The encapsulated payload was to be transferred and mated to the launch vehicle only three days before launch.
More... - Chronology...
Chinese Space Laboratory Chinese manned space station. Study 2012. The latest models displayed of the Chinese Space Laboratory show it to have a larger-diameter module, about 4 m in diameter, and a narrower module forward, about 3 m in diameter. More...
CZ-NGLV China's family of new generation expendable launch vehicles began development in 2000. Boosters of various capabilities would be assembled from three modular stages of 2.25 m, 3.35 m and 5.0 m diameter. These would be powered by new variable-thrust 120 tonne thrust Lox/Kerosene engines or 50 tonne thrust Lox/LH2 engines. More...
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
CALT Chinese manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, Beijing, China. More...
Chen Lan, Dragon in Space, Web Address when accessed: here.
Yihua Tang, Xiaojun Wang, Tangming Cheng, "International Astronautical Congress, 2002", The Sketch of a New Generation Launch Vehicle of Long-March Family, IAC-02-V.1.04.
Video presentation, IAF Bremen, September 2003.
Tangming Cheng, Xiaojun Wang, Dong Li, "The New Generation Launch Vehicles of Long March Family", IAF 2003.
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