Encyclopedia Astronautica
Chang Cheng 1

Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 57,000/30,000 kg. Thrust 490.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 230 seconds. All characteristics except dimensions estimated, on assumption that stage used same propulsion systems as Shanghai upper stage.

Status: Design 1988.
Gross mass: 57,000 kg (125,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 30,000 kg (66,000 lb).
Height: 24.00 m (78.00 ft).
Diameter: 4.50 m (14.70 ft).
Span: 17.00 m (55.00 ft).
Thrust: 490.00 kN (110,150 lbf).
Specific impulse: 230 s.
Burn time: 430 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Chang Cheng 1 Chinese winged orbital launch vehicle. The Chang Cheng 1 (Great Wall 1) vertical takeoff / horizontal landing two-stage space shuttle was a compromise design created jointly by Shanghai Astronautics Bureau 805 (now the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology) and Institute 604 of the Air Ministry in 1988. An expendable booster, consisting of three of Shanghai's planned liquid oxygen/kerosene modular boosters, would boost the winged second stage shuttle to a high altitude. The engines of the winged shuttle stage would take it to orbit. This approach would allow a first flight to be made in 2008. More...

Associated Propellants
  • 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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