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skywatcher

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An eight year old vid revisit——Long March 5 test(2015)
in honor of ESA heavy lift launcher Ariane 5's retirement
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skywatcher

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China may launch next-generation crewed spacecraft as early as 2027

BEIJING, July 18 (Reuters) - China's next-generation crewed spacecraft, which can transport up to seven astronauts, may fly for the first time between 2027 and 2028, a veteran Chinese astronaut said.

China's manned space flights began in 2003 when former fighter pilot, Yang Liwei, was sent into orbit in a small bronze-coloured capsule, the Shenzhou-5, becoming China's first man in space and an instant hero cheered by millions at home.

"In the future, a new generation of spacecraft will be used on crewed lunar missions, to build our space station, and for deep-space exploration," the state-run Guangzhou Daily cited Yang as saying at a Chinese university on Monday.

Recent tests on the return capsule of the next-generation spacecraft have been "very successful", with their first flights estimated to take place between 2027 and 2028, said Yang, currently deputy chief designer of China's manned spaceflight project.

The next-generation spacecraft was first tested in 2020.

Since China's space station became operational late last year, the focus has returned to a project to send astronauts to the moon by 2030, with engineers recently disclosing more details of the plan - from the type of carrier rockets to be used to the spacecraft transporting astronauts and other equipment.

China's current Shenzhou spacecraft, based on Russia's Soyuz, can transport up to three astronauts to low-Earth orbit. It consists of a life-support and propulsion module, an in-orbit module for short-term human habitation, and a re-entry capsule for their return to earth.

The new generation of crewed spacecraft will comprise just two parts - the propulsion and the return modules - to allow for bigger modules and larger carrying capacity of up to seven people, Zhang Bainan, chief designer of the trial version of the new-generation spacecraft, said in 2020.

The return module's high heat resistance also allows much of it to be re-used.

 

skywatcher

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Dongfang Hour exclusive report on China's ambition of crewed lunar landing by this decade
This is not a cold war style space race.
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It will be a sustainable human presence on the Moon out of political determinations and economic considerations.
 

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20 year anniversary of Chinese human spaceflight
——15 Oct 2023~15 Oct 2023

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skywatcher

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China’s commercial launch firms get space station cargo boost

HELSINKI — China’s human spaceflight agency says the country’s commercial rocket companies could launch low-cost cargo missions in the future.

The China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO) opened a call for proposals for a low-cost cargo transportation system to supply the Tiangong space station in May this year. Four from a total of 10 submitted proposals meeting requirements were selected to proceed to the detailed design study phase in September.

Despite submissions from commercial companies, the chosen proposals came from entities belonging to state-owned enterprises.

However, a number of the proposals selected opted for launch solutions from commercial rocket companies, Lin Xiqiang, deputy director of CMSEO, said at a pre-launch press conference for the imminent Shenzhou 17 crewed mission at Jiuquan spaceport, Oct. 25.

“Each of these companies is developing rockets with a carrying capacity of 4 tons to 6 tons [to low Earth orbit],” Lin said. “The overall cost performance is very high.”

Lin added that these are expected to participate in the next phase of commercial procurement of the low-cost cargo program.

Chinese commercial launch companies developing rockets in this payload capability range or beyond include Landspace (Zhuque-2, already flown), Space Pioneer (Tianlong-3), Galactic Energy (Pallas-1) and Orienspace (Gravity-1).

Lunar rover solicitation

Lin also stated that CMSEO had solicited proposals for a lunar rover for the country’s crewed lunar missions. China is aiming to land a pair of astronauts on the moon before 2030.

He stated that universities, automotive enterprises and scientific research institutions had formed joint teams to carry out design work.

More than 40 entities formed 14 joint teams to submit formal intentions, Lin said. Of the submitted proposals, 11 teams have passed the first round review and proceed for further evaluation.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is likewise working with Toyota to develop a pressurized lunar rover.

CMSEO is pleased to see commercial space companies developing rapidly and are actively engaging in human spaceflight activities, Lin stated.

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China is planning to expand Tiangong with further modules in coming years
 

skywatcher

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All private Chinese liquid rockets in development(maybe not all)

1.Orienspace Gravity-2 LOX/RP-1 LEO: 25.6t
2.Land Space Zhuque-3 LOX/CH4 LEO: 20t
3.Space Pioneer Tianlong-3 LOX/RP-1 LEO:17t
4.CAS Space Kinetica-2 LOX/RP-1 LEO:12t
5.Nayuta Space Space Chaser-1 LEO:10t
6.Space Epoch XZY-1 LOX/RP-1 LEO:6.5t
7.Galactic Energy Pallas-1 LOX/RP-1 LEO:5t
8.Deep Blue Aerospace Nebula-1 LOX/RP-1 LEO:2t
9.Rocket Pie Darwin-1 LOX/CH4 500kg
10.AAengine AX-1 LOX/RP-1 LEO:300kg
 

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China is working on a design for a reusable air-launched orbital rocket

Andrew JonesNovember 30, 2023


HELSINKI — A Chinese launch vehicle maker is working on designs for an air-launched rocket for sending small satellites to orbit.

The system is being designed by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT) to deliver a payload of up to 300 kilograms to a 500-km-altitude sun-synchronous orbit (SSO).

The three-stage air-launched rocket would weigh approximately 20,000 kilograms. It would fly on a carrier aircraft to an altitude of about 11.9 kilometers, reaching speeds of Mach 0.8 before being released.

The system is designed to provide “flexible, affordable and dedicated launch” for small satellites, according to an abstract submitted to Lyu Yan of CALT at the 74th International Astronautical Congress in Baku, Azerbaijan in October.

CALT is a major rocket developer under China’s state-owned main space contractor, CASC. It is one of two entities, along with the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST), which make Long March rockets.

Such a system would potentially provide China with a flexible and economical option for launching small satellites. It would be able to take off horizontally from runways and not require access to China’s spaceports. The latter are currently a bottleneck for Chinese access to space and growing demand for launch.

CALT earlier stated it is working on an air-launched rocket. It was reported to be working with Ukrainian companies on the project. Plans from 2017 note that a Y-20 strategic transport plane would be used in the system. The rocket which would have a payload capacity of 100 kg. A larger, 200 kg rocket was also mooted. Both would be solid-fuelled rockets.

The new design rocket offers a higher payload capacity and first stage reusability using an air rudder. “The air rudder recovery technology does not require the first-stage engine to have re-lighting and thrust adjustment functions, making it easier to design and manufacture,” according to the abstract.

“Based on a 10 times recovery, the recovery of the first stage booster sacrifices a payload capacity of 1kg to 2kg while reducing the economic cost by approximately 62% for each launch mission.”

Virgin Orbit notably developed an air-launch system, using its Cosmic Girl to deploy the small LauncherOne rocket. Virgin Orbit filed for bankruptcy earlier in 2023.
 

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Comparison of CSS(2023) & Tiangong 2(2016)

I yearn for higher resolution image of this so I can magnify it to see all the details
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skywatcher

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Land Space reaffirmed its dominance on private Chinese space launch sector with its methane powered Zhuque-2
006HGq7agy1hkgj21534xj311c0nedgz.jpg

1.Land Space Zhuque-2
2.Space Pioneer Tianlong-2
3.Galactic Energy Ceres-1
4.i-Space Hyperbola-1
5.Orienspace Gravity-1
6.Deep Blue Aerospace Nebula-1
 

skywatcher

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Land Space reaffirmed its dominance on private Chinese space launch sector with its methane powered Zhuque-2
View attachment 231975
1.Land Space Zhuque-2
2.Space Pioneer Tianlong-2
3.Galactic Energy Ceres-1
4.i-Space Hyperbola-1
5.Orienspace Gravity-1
6.Deep Blue Aerospace Nebula-1
Three Zhuque-2 launches are scheduled for 2024
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006HGq7agy1hkgj21534xj311c0nedgz.jpg


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