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China Moon Space Transportation Science

Details of Chinese Moon Rocket Emerge 138

MarkWhittington writes "AmericaSpace has published the results of a study of Chinese rocket development by Charles Vick, a noted expert on the Russian and Chinese space programs who works for, using Chinese language sources. Of note are the developing concepts for a super heavy launch vehicle designated as the CZ9 or Long March 9, capable of taking Chinese astronauts to the moon and points beyond. 'Liang outlined several new Long March versions, virtually all of them testing elements that would eventually find their way into the Long March 9 that has 4 million lb. more of liftoff thrust than the 7.5 million lb. thrust NASA Saturn V. Forty-three years ago this week a Saturn V propelled the Apollo 11 astronauts to the first manned landing on the Moon on July 20, 1969.'"
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Details of Chinese Moon Rocket Emerge

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  • Screw this! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @06:15PM (#40691379)

    It is time to build the Sea Dragon [] rocket with 80 million pounds of thrust. And no new launch facilities would be needed since you can only launch it from the ocean.

  • by EdgePenguin ( 2646733 ) on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @07:22PM (#40692005) Homepage

    Obviously, a US news source is going to use the largest NASA rocket ever flown as the basis for comparison, but I think their option 'A' design looks quite like the Soviet Energiya booster.

    Saturn V was a single body launch vehicle - each stage was stacked on top of each other, and fired sequentially. This was simpler to assemble, but meant that two stages had to start in flight - one of which had to start twice! The first stage was LOx/RP-1 to get high thrust low in the Earth's atmosphere, and the upper stages were LOx/LH2 to get maximum delta-V.

    Energiya, on the other hand, looked more like the US shuttle stack (and indeed, was used to fly the Soviet version of the space shuttle, the main difference being its ability to fly without the shuttle as its own rocket). It had a LOx/LH2 core stage, surrounded by 4 LOx/RP-1 boosters. All of the engines were started on the ground, at liftoff. Energiya was a mode 'modern' super heavy launch vehicle, as this approach is widely considered better these days.

    Sensibly, the Chinese appear to have looked to the most recent super heavy (100t+ payload capacity) launch vehicle that successfully flew for design cues.

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