China completes second test on new carrier rocket
The second ground test of the power system of China's next-generation carrier rocket was completed on Monday, ahead of its first flight in 2016.
Beijing: The second ground test of the power system of China's next-generation carrier rocket was completed on Monday, ahead of its first flight in 2016.
Using non-toxic, non-polluting liquid propellant, the engines of Long March-5 were test-fired on the ground to test current technology, state-run Xinhua news agency cited Tan Yonghua, head of the Academy of Aerospace Propulsion Technology, as saying.
Long March-5 was first test-fired on February 9 this year.
According to Xu Dazhe, head of the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence, Long March-5 will increase China's ability to enter space by at least 2.5 times.
The Long March-5 rockets, designed for the final chapter of China's three-step -- orbiting, landing and returning -- lunar programme, will have a payload capacity of 25 tonnes to low Earth orbits, or 14 tonnes to geostationary transfer orbit.
"The Chang'e-5 lunar mission is undergoing intensive development and is scheduled to be launched with a Long March-5 carrier rocket from south China's Hainan Province around 2017," said Xu.
China started work on carrier rockets in 1950s. Long March rockets have since become the main carriers for satellites, probes and manned spacecrafts.
In December 2014, the CBERS-4 satellite, jointly developed with Brazil, was launched from the Taiyuan base by Long March-4B rocket, the 200th launch of the Long March rocket family, making China the third country, after the US and Russia, to complete 200 carrier rocket launches.