China considers super-powerful engine for next generation space rockets

July 27th, 2010 - 6:45 pm ICT by ANI  

London, July 27 (ANI): China is considering a new super-powerful engine for the next generation of space rockets.

BBC quotes Li Tongyu, general manager of the marketing department at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), as saying that engineers are currently studying a rocket engine with the thrust of 600 tonnes, burning highly potent liquid oxygen and liquid oxygen propellant.

“Rockets with 600-tonne thrust engines would only be justified for things like sending humans to the Moon, if such projects are approved,” Li Tongyu added.

It is also working to develop one of its most powerful next generation rocket to date - ‘Long March 5′, which would sport engines with the thrust of 120 tonnes.

A full-scale prototype of the Long March 5 rocket would be ready for testing in 2012 and a year later, test firing of fully assembled rocket stages would be conducted.

Once it starts operating, ‘Long March-5′ is expected to deliver up to 25 tonnes of payload, including space station modules to the low Earth orbit, and up to 14 tonnes to the so-called geo stationary transfer orbit, where most communications satellites are released after launch, BBC reports.

If China succeeds in the development of such a power, it would increase the nation’s capabilities in space by orders of magnitude. (ANI)

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