Long March 7 To Fly Late Next Year

Discussion in 'China' started by cir, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. cir

    cir Senior Member Senior Member

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    Mar 6, 2012

    By Bradley Perrett

    [​IMG]

    XIAN, China — China’s new medium-heavy space launcher, the Long March 7, should fly late next year, entering service in an initial version capable of lifting 13.5 metric tons (30,000 lb.) to low orbit, making it significantly larger than current Chinese rockets.

    The Long March 7 will have four boosters, says the principal engineer of manufacturer CALT, Shen Lin, adding that China is also planning new upper stages and launch vehicles, some using solid propellants and others fueled with methane.

    Speaking at the Asian Joint Conference on Propulsion and Power, held at Xian, China, on March 2-3, Shen confirms that the Long March 7 will use kerosene for fuel, which was expected, since its boosters and core first stage are to be driven by a new standard engine, the YF-100, which features 120 metric tons (265,000 lb.) thrust.

    The YF-100 has staged combustion, Chinese industry officials say, referring to a challenging but efficient technology. The engine has achieved a 305-sec. specific impulse, a key measure of efficiency, they add. The 18-ton-thrust second-stage engine of Long March 7, which may be named YF-118 or YF-18, has been revealed as using staged combustion.

    China has been working on engines burning methane (CH4) and liquid oxygen (LOx) since 2008, say senior Chinese space engineers Li Ping and Li Bin in a paper presented to the conference. “A pilot engine with 600-kn thrust (135,000 lb.) was [test-fired] to investigate the key technologies related with the reusable LOx-CH4 booster engines,” they say. This has been followed with development work on a 100-kn pilot upper-stage engine and several small-thrust reaction-control engines.

    Hydrogen-fueled engines were adapted for the methane tests, another official says, adding that China has investigated liquefied petroleum gas as a fuel.

    Long March 7 and its smaller sibling, the Long March 6, are overtaking the biggest member of China’s new rocket family, Long March 5, whose development began earlier. Long March 6 development is running behind that of Long March 7 by only a few months, if at all, says an official familiar with the programs. Long March 5 is introducing more technology than the two smaller rockets, notably a hydrogen first-stage core engine and a 5-meter (16.4-ft.) body dia.

    The YF-100 also is the booster engine of the Long March 5 and the first-stage core engine of the Long March 6. Six YF-100s will propel Long March 7 — two in the core and one on each booster. Although this new family is eventually supposed to supplant the current launchers, all of which use toxic hydrazine fuel, the first version of Long March 7 will be considerably more powerful than any of the earlier rockets. The human-rated Long March 2F, for example, is capable of lofting 8.4 tons to low orbit, CALT says.

    CALT, a subsidiary of national space conglomerate CASC, is developing Long March 5 and 7. The company drew up the preliminary design of the Long March 6, but CASC assigned the detail design and production of that small launcher to another subsidiary, SASC, officials say.

    In the preliminary design, Long March 6 used the smallest of China’s three standard rocket body diameters, 2.25 meters, but SASC officials have said it will be built with the same 3.35-meter dia. as Long March 7. All of the new rockets will use a new launch base being built on Hainan Island, an official says.

    Long March 7 To Fly Late Next Year | AVIATION WEEK
     
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  3. huaxia rox

    huaxia rox Senior Member Senior Member

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    waiting for our manned moon missions....
     
  4. cir

    cir Senior Member Senior Member

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    Huaxia Rox for China Rocks?
     
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  5. cir

    cir Senior Member Senior Member

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    Manned moon missions are still some years off, what we can now look forward to is:

    China’s mission to bring back lunar soil reaches advanced stage

    Last Updated: Friday, March 16, 2012, 16:18

    Beijing: China’s mission to collect about two kilograms of soil from the moon’s surface and bring it back to earth has reached an advanced stage, according to a leading space official.

    This mission is part of the third phase of the lunar exploration program.

    Hu Hao, chief designer of the lunar exploration program’s third phase and a deputy to the National People''s Congress, which ended on Wednesday, has said engineers are expected to put down the groundwork on the mission this year.

    “The mission will involve a relay approach, that will require precision meeting and docking in lunar orbit,” The China Daily quoted Hu, as saying.

    The mission will see a rocket launched from Earth, and a four-module spacecraft will then enter lunar orbit.

    Two modules will be landed on the moon with one of them will perform the task of scooping up soil. The collected soil would then be placed into the ascending module that will blast off from the lunar surface and dock with the orbiting module. The sample will then be moved from this module to one that will be thrown overboard for Earth re-entry.

    Hu refused to confirm the launch date of the product, but said several key technologies have to be improved to reach perfection, including the launch of the ascending module from the lunar surface and the collection of soil samples.

    “It''s impossible to know the conditions that the module descending onto the moon will experience,” Hu said.

    “They could be sandy, or rocky, and collecting soil samples depends on the type of conditions at the landing site,” he added.

    China’s mission to bring back lunar soil reaches advanced stage
     
  6. cir

    cir Senior Member Senior Member

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    Mission to bring back lunar soil

    Updated: 2012-03-16 07:05

    By Xin Dingding (China Daily)

    Module will collect samples from moon's surface, space official says

    Preparations are well advanced to launch a moon mission and bring about 2 kilograms of lunar soil samples to Earth, a leading space program official said. The mission is part of the third phase of the lunar exploration program.

    Engineers are expected to lay the groundwork this year, said Hu Hao, chief designer of the lunar exploration program's third phase and a deputy to the National People's Congress, which ended on Wednesday.

    The mission will involve a "relay" approach, that will require precision rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit, he said.

    The mission will see a rocket launched from Earth. A four-module spacecraft will then enter lunar orbit.

    Two modules will land on the moon, one will scoop up soil. This will be placed into the ascending module that will blast off from the lunar surface and dock with the orbiting module. The sample will then be transferred from this module to one that will be jettisoned for Earth re-entry.

    Declining to confirm the launch date, though previous reports suggested 2017, Hu said that several key technologies have to be perfected, including the launch of the ascending module from the lunar surface and the collection of soil samples.

    "It's impossible to know the conditions that the module descending onto the moon will experience," he said.

    They could be sandy, or rocky, and collecting soil samples depends on the type of conditions at the landing site, he said.

    Getting samples is notoriously difficult. A mission sent by the former Soviet Union once had a drill attached to the landing module but even that failed to deeply penetrate the lunar surface.

    Its three missions collected just over 300 grams of lunar soil. The United States had better success. Its Apollo program returned 381.7 kilograms of rocks and other material from the moon, thanks in large part to astronauts. The US gave China one gram of lunar soil as a gift in 1978. China requires lunar soil to conduct scientific research.

    Judging just how much lunar soil can be scooped up and returned to Earth is difficult.

    "Our mission is also a robotic mission. Scientists expect the mission to bring back 2 kilograms of lunar soil but the exact amount of soil returned might be less," he said.

    Rendezvous and docking in a lunar orbit also poses challenges. But lessons can be learned from previous rendezvous and docking between the unmanned Shenzhou VIII spacecraft and Tiangong-1 space lab module, he said.

    "A lunar-orbit rendezvous is more than 300,000 km from Earth. It will fully test our telemetry, track and command systems," he said.

    Engineers also have to solve the re-entry problem. The return capsule will be hurtling to Earth at, or close to, speeds of 11.2 km per second. This speed will be faster than returning manned spacecraft, which re-enter at 7.9 km per second.

    Ensuring a safe return at this speed is one of the challenges, he added. China's lunar exploration program has three stages; orbiting, landing and returning.

    Currently China is in the second stage, with three lunar exploring spacecraft, Chang'e-2, Chang'e-3 and Chang'e-4.

    Ye Peijian, chief commander of the third lunar probe, Chang'e-3, at the China Academy of Space Technology, said that it is expected to be launched next year to conduct lunar exploration.

    Different from the previous two orbiters and other spacecraft China designed, Chang'e-3 is the first spacecraft with "legs" to support itself in landing, he said, adding that previous manned spacecraft used parachutes.

    The orbiter will carry a lunar rover and other instruments for surveys and observation, said Ye, a member of the top political advisory body.

    The 100-kg lunar rover, China's first such device, is designed to operate on the moon for more than three months and during this time it will encounter extreme conditions, including temperatures below -170 C.

    China launched Chang'e-1 in 2007 and Chang'e-2 in 2010. The first probe retrieved a great deal of scientific data and a complete map of the moon while the second created a full higher-resolution map of the moon.

    The Chang'e-2 is now on an extensive exploration mission some 1.5 million km from Earth. Ye said it is in good condition and scientists are planning its next stage.

    "It could fly toward the Earth to test returning orbit for future spacecraft or travel farther to explore an asteroid," he said.

    Mission to bring back lunar soil|Sci-Tech|chinadaily.com.cn
     
  7. huaxia rox

    huaxia rox Senior Member Senior Member

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    bingo.......glad to know u actually know me very well lol.

    and back to the topic...i think u go to moon u need powerful rockets 1st....some saying long march 5 etc r mainly for heavy settallites and space station components and i believe they r also crucial for china to put man onto the moon...anyway hope every thing will go smoothly...
     

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