According to a senior leader, China intends to work on the construction of two kinds of launch vehicles that are super-heavy for potential lunar projects. The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT) will continue production of both a new generation crew launch vehicle and a heavy launch vehicle and over the next five years, according to Jiang Jie, who serves as the chief designer of Long March 3A series of the hypergolic launchers.

The Long March 9 is the name of the super-heavy launcher. It is estimated to be about 93 meters long, with a 10-meter-diameter core as well as a mass of 4,140 metric tons at the liftoff, according to various estimates. It will have four five-meter-diameter side boosters, similar to the Long March 5 first stage, and will be effective in moving 140 tons to the Low Earth Orbit or about 50 tons to the trans-lunar injection.

According to Jiang, the project necessitates advancements in the larger diameter structures as well as high-thrust engines. For the very first stage, China is working on a dual nozzle 500-ton thrust kerosene-liquid oxygen engines, as well as for the second stage, a 220-ton thrust liquid hydrogen-liquid oxygen staged combustion cycle engine. In the year 2030, a Long March 9 flight test is planned. The China Manned Space Agency is scheduled to unveil a proposal for a next-generation crew launch vehicle in the coming years.

The launcher is built around established 5-meter-diameter cores from China’s newest largest launch vehicle, the Long March 5, as well as upgraded models of its YF-100 keralox engines. However, integrating the components as well as technologies into the three-core launcher poses some difficulties. “Successful production of these two kinds of rockets would significantly improve the country’s spacecraft’s ability to reach space,” Jiang said.

Jiang’s remarks shed some light on the status of China’s two super-heavy launchers. The new crew launcher design has sparked debate about whether it should be built in conjunction with the Long March 9 or as a replacement. The Long March 9 is scheduled to launch a lunar stack as well as infrastructure flights, as well as other ventures such as space-centered solar power.

CALT had previously proposed a lunar mission plan that included the deployment of the Long March 9 accompanied by the Long March 5B crew release. Before TLI, an LEO rendezvous, as well as docking, will take place. However, it appears that a modern lunar landing architecture with the modern crew booster has evolved, with the Long March 9 offering backup.

By Adam

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