The People’s Republic of China is ambitious; you’ve got to give them that. The Asian superpower is beginning work on a rocket called the Long March 9, which would catapult a payload of 140 metric tons into a low Earth orbit. By contrast, America’s Saturn V, the vehicle used to propel American astronauts to the moon in the 1960s could carry roughly the same amount of payload.
Set to be in service by 2030, the Long March 9 is larger than any other rocket in use today. As of now, Space X’s Falcon Heavy can carry a load of 64 metric tons into low orbit. The European Space Agency’s Ariane 5 can only deliver 20 metric tons into orbit. The total thrust at liftoff for the new Chinese rocket should be between 3,500 and 4,000 metric tons, compared to about 3,400 metric tons for the Saturn V. NASA is scheduled to deliver its new Space Launch System with a payload of 130 metric tons sometime in 2021.
In addition to the Long March 9, China has more ambitious plans for its space program, which is run by the Chinese military. China is also working on a reusable rocket, which they hope is operational by 2021, as well as a “spaceplane” similar to America’s space shuttle and the U.S. Air Force’s X-37B unmanned spaceplane, which is used to deploy satellites into low Earth orbit. China also looks to have a manned space station of its own in orbit by 2022. The ultimate Chinese goal is to send taikonauts (astronauts) to the moon in the 2030s, with a goal of creating a space base on the lunar surface. The Chinese also look to send a probe to Mars before 2030 with the goal of returning it to Earth with samples of Martian soil.
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Private space companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin have captured headlines recently as they head for the stars. But as the Trump administration focuses on a "space force" and continuing America's "unparalleled space leadership," China has unveiled plans to build a powerful rocket that would rival anything NASA and the private industry have to offer.
By 2030, China's Long March-9 rocket will be able to carry 140 tons into low-Earth orbit, Long Lehao, a senior official from the Chinese Academy of Engineering told the Xinhua news agency. The news was first reported by the Daily Mail.
By comparison, SpaceX's Falcon Heavy, which launched successfully in February, is able to lift a payload of more than 64 tons (141,000 pounds) into orbit. The Falcon Heavy also contains 27 engines, giving the rocket a thrust of more than 5 million pounds, the equivalent of 18 Boeing 747 aircraft.
China aims to outstrip NASA with super-powerful rocket
China is working on a super-powerful rocket that would be capable of delivering heavier payloads into low orbit than NASA, a leading Chinese space expert was quoted as saying Monday.
By 2030, the Long March-9 rocket under development will be able to carry 140 tons into low-Earth orbit – where TV and earth observation satellites currently fly – said Long Lehao, a senior official from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, according to the official Xinhua news agency. This compares to the 20 tons deliverable by Europe's Ariane 5 rocket or the 64 tons by Elon Musk's Falcon Heavy, which in February catapulted one of the US entrepreneur's red Tesla Roadster cars towards Mars.
It would also outstrip the 130 tons of NASA's Space Launch System, which is due to become operational in 2020.
China's 'megarocket' plans revealed: Long March-9 would be able to blast 140 tonnes into orbit, beating NASA and SpaceX's plan for heavy launch vehicles
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China's Long March-9 would have a core stage measuring 10 metres (33 feet) in diameter and boast four powerful boosters, each with a diameter of five metres.
Xinhua quoted Long as saying the rocket could be used in manned lunar landings, deep space exploration or constructing a space-based solar power plant. In addition, China is working on a reusable space rocket, which is expected to make its maiden flight in 2021.
The first stage and the boosters will be retrieved after a vertical landing, Long said in a speech in Beijing.
China developing SUPER rocket more powerful than NASA’s
China hopes to overtake the US and Russia in terms of space power
This would make it far more powerful than the European Space Agency’s Ariane 5 rocket, which can handle 20 tonnes, and Elon Musk’s Falcon Heavy that takes payloads of up to 64 tonnes. NASA currently has strongest craft – the Space Launch System – which can carry a whopping 130 tonnes.
Long said China is creating a new Long March-8 carrier rocket, which is expected to make its first journey in 2021 – nine years before go the March-9.
IS CHINA REALLY GOING TO OUT-NASA US WITH THEIR SUPERPOWERED ROCKET?
If you want to catch up with NASA, you’d better be bringing something immensely powerful to the game—like a mega-rocket that can blast 140 tons into space
China’s Long March-9 is being developed by the country’s Academy of Aerospace Propulsion technology (AAPT) and chasing current spaceflight heavyweights at warp speed. The ESA’s Ariane 5 flies up to 20 tons into space, and the SpaceX Falcon Heavy can lift up to 64 (with or without Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster on board). Even NASA’s upcoming Space Launch System, which should be taking off in 2020, falls just behind at 130 tons.
Long March-9 should be capable of flying such a massive payload into orbit 1,200 miles above Earth’s surface, at least if you believe Chinese Academy of Engineering senior official Long Lehao. He recently revealed to Xinhua News that its core stage is 10 meters in diameter and will be powered by four boosters that are each 5 meters in diameter. It’s even after NASA’s goals: China wants to get humans moonwalking again, building a zero-G power plant and venturing into the endless expanse of deep space.
"China's aerospace industry is making efforts to develop low-cost vehicles that can enter space rapidly to support future large-scale space exploration and promote a commercial space industry," Long told China Daily.
China’s Super-Powerful Rocket Under Development Outstrips Europe’s, NASA’s
Space Launch System, or SLS, is an advanced launch vehicle that provides the foundation for human exploration beyond Earth's orbit. With its unprecedented power and capabilities, SLS is the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts and large cargo to the moon on a single mission," NASA wrote on its website June 29
According to Xinhua, China's Long March-9 will consist of a core stage with a 10-meter diameter and four powerful boosters, each with a five-meter diameter. The rocket is expected to be used in manned lunar landings, deep space exploration and even in the construction of a space-based solar power plant, Long said.
China is also currently developing a reusable space rocket, the Long March-8 carrier rocket, which is expected to make its maiden flight around 2021. China is allocating billions into its military-run space programme, with the hopes of finally catching up with US and Russia in terms of space landmarks.
In April, China asked the public to submit innovative design ideas for the country's own version of a manned lunar exploration mission currently being planned. According to Zhou Jianping, chief designer of China's manned space program, the goal is to find innovative ideas for the design of manned lunar surface landing and ascent.
China seeks to outdo NASA with its own super-powerful rocket
The New Space Race continues to coalesceFor decades there were but three national entities that launched satellites or people into space: Russia, the US, and the European space agencies. But more recently China and US private enterprise have become more significant players. On July 2, a Chinese expert announced its ongoing development of a heavy-lift booster that would outmatch NASA’s own Heavy Lift System which is also under development
China is working on a super-powerful rocket that would be capable of delivering heavier payloads into low orbit than NASA, a leading Chinese space expert was quoted as saying Monday (Jul 2). By 2030, the Long March-9 rocket under development will be able to carry 140 tonnes into low-Earth orbit – where TV and earth observation satellites currently fly – said Long Lehao, a senior official from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
This compares to the 20 tonnes deliverable by Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket or the 64 tonnes by Elon Musk’s Falcon Heavy, which in February catapulted one of the US entrepreneur’s red Tesla Roadster cars towards Mars. It would also outstrip the 130 tonnes of NASA’s Space Launch System, which is due to become operational in 2020.
China’s Long March-9 would have a core stage measuring 10m in diameter and boast four powerful boosters, each with a diameter of five metres. Xinhua quoted Long as saying the rocket could be used in manned lunar landings, deep space exploration or constructing a space-based solar power plant.
China Working on a New Heavy-Lift Rocket as Powerful as Saturn V
The heavy-lift carrier rocket Long March 5 moves to the launch tower at Wenchang Space Launch Center on October 28, 2016 in Wenchang, Hainan Province of China.)
China is working on a new generation of heavy-lift rocket designed to take its taikonauts to the moon and beyond. The Long March 9, as it is informally known, would dwarf SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy. The launch vehicle should be capable of sending 50 metric tons of people and cargo to the moon as China gears up for lunar missions in the early 2030s.
The next step to building Long March 9 is to complete a demonstrator rocket engine, what China is calling a prototype, according to Aviation Week, which could be completed by the end of this year. The test rocket engine is designed to burn kerosene to put out 480 metric tons of thrust, and a large turbopump for the engine has reportedly already been built by the engineering firm developing the rocket engine, the Academy of Aerospace Propulsion Technology (AAPT). Additional second- and third-stage engines for the rocket, thought to be designed to burn hydrogen fuel, are also under development.
Long March 9 is China’s biggest and most ambitious rocket program to date. A senior official in the Chinese space industry told Aviation Week that the total thrust at liftoff for Long March 9 should be between 3,500 and 4,000 metric tons, compared to 3,400 metric tons of thrust for the Saturn V rocket that took NASA astronauts to the moon. China’s largest rocket currently in service, the Long March 5, is capable of placing 25,000 kg in LEO. The specifications for Long March 9 call for a rocket with a LEO payload capacity of 140,000 kg or 140 metric tons, almost a sixfold increase in lifting capacity over Long March 5
A closer look at China's audacious Mars sample return plans
China is making steady progress on a proposed mission to bring a piece of Mars back to Earth in the late 2020s
The project would be a massive undertaking. But the plans appear serious, and if successful, the mission could result in major scientific discoveries and tremendous prestige—especially if NASA's plans for a similar mission don't get off the ground.
China's space capabilities and ambitions have been growing rapidly in recent years. The country successfully launched two small space stations into Earth orbit and visited them with astronauts, while making rapid advances in robotically exploring the Moon.
Now, China is looking to explore the wider solar system, starting with Mars—Huoxing, or literally 'fire star,' in Chinese.
Chinese space program
The space program of the People's Republic of China is directed by the China National Space Administration (CNSA). Its technological roots can be traced back to the late 1950s, when China began a ballistic missile program in response to perceived American (and, later, Soviet) threats. However, the first Chinese crewed space program only began several decades later, when an accelerated program of technological development culminated in Yang Liwei's successful 2003 flight aboard Shenzhou 5. This achievement made China the third country to independently send humans into space. Plans currently include a permanent Chinese space station in 2020 and crewed expeditions to the Moon.
Officials have articulated long term ambitions to exploit Earth-Moon space for industrial development. The goal would be the construction of space-based solar power satellites that would beam energy back to Earth.
The Chinese Space Program is one of the world's most active, advanced, and successful space programs, making several historic and present achievements, breakthroughs and records
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