China launches new rocket engine, new rocket stage – CNN
Beijing — Chinese space agency CNES said Sunday it had launched a new rocket motor and a new engine to power a new type of heavy-lift rocket that will replace its older two-stage heavy rocket.
The launch, a test of the two-tonne rocket, was carried out with a launch vehicle that was built for a heavier rocket called the Super Heavy Lift Rocket.
CNES Chairman Liu Yuanping said the rocket engine and engine stage were assembled at the company’s Beijing headquarters.
It was expected to go into service later this year.
Liu said CNES would also test a new launch vehicle for the Super High Mobility Thrust Vehicle, a three-stage vehicle.
It is a new version of the vehicle that CNES will develop for the next phase of the Heavy Lift Project, a $2 billion program that aims to build a new heavy-lifting rocket.
Liu also said CNECs latest launch was the first to carry a solid rocket motor, the SuperHeavy Lift Rocket, with a maximum thrust of 10,500 kg.
It had a power rating of 7,800 kg.
The company is also testing a new four-stage booster, called the Advanced Super Heavy Rocket, which is capable of lifting 2.2 tons.
The SuperHeavy rocket is designed to replace the older Super Heavy Heavy Rocket.
The two-metre-long, 3,000-ton rocket is about three times heavier than the two rocket stages used by CNES in the Superheavy rocket.
It weighs about 20 tonnes more than the SuperHOT rocket.
CNEC is also developing a new three-metres-long heavy rocket, the Heavy Heavy Vehicle, for the Heavy-lift project.
The Heavy Heavy vehicle, which will be used to launch CNEC’s heavy satellites into orbit, is expected to be ready for test later this month.
The rocket engine is capable to lift up to 20 tonnes, which was achieved by CNEC in January this year, Liu said.
“This is a significant step in the development of CNES Heavy Heavy Lift rockets,” Liu said at a press conference.
“It is the first time a new vehicle is used in CNES rockets.”
The two new engines, the first since CNES’ super-heavy heavy rocket program began in 2003, will be tested at the Zhongguancun Satellite Launch Center in southwestern China.
Liu told reporters that CNEC plans to start developing the Superhigh Heavy Heavy-Lift Rocket, the third stage of the SuperHigh Heavy-HOT and SuperHOP rockets.
It will be launched at a later date, he said.
CNE also plans to test a four-metral heavy rocket at the next stage of its Heavy Lift project.
It has been building the rocket stage for the program since 2006, Liu added.
The first stage of CNEC Heavy Lift, known as the Super-Heavy Heavy Rocket is the second-largest of the three SuperHeavy rockets, weighing more than 100 tonnes.
The third stage, known in China as the Heavy High Heavy Rocket or the Super HOP Rocket, weighs just over 10 tonnes.
CNEMs Super Heavy heavy rocket is the third of its four rocket-powered heavy rockets.
CNESS Heavy Heavy Heavy, the other two rockets, have been built at the Shenyang Satellite Launch Facility, in southwestern Beijing.