China tests carrier rocket engine for future space missions
Beijing: China today said it has successfully tested a new 120-tonne-thrust liquid oxygen (LOX) and kerosene engine for its new generation carrier rocket, the Long March-5 for future space launches.
The test was conducted in Xi'an, capital city of China's northwestern Shaanxi province, official media here reported.
The LOX/kerosene engine underwent a test of a high rotational speed of nearly 20,000 revolutions per minute and a high temperature test of 3,000 degrees Celsius that lasted for 200 seconds, state run CCTV reported.
The large-thrust carrier rocket under development is hoped to make its maiden voyage in 2014.
Ahead of that, several limit-determining tests will be conducted to ensure the engine's stability and reliability, it said.
The new engine was tested as China has launched an ambitious space programme which included new missions to Moon, building a permanent space station and a host of satellites to set up its own Global Position System, (GPS) to reduce dependence on the US GPS system.
Since last year China has started a programme to launch 100 rockets and 100 satellites by 2015 and has been making 20 launch missions a year to accomplish it.
Its other space programmes included building of its space station by 2020 for which it has completed all preliminary testing work including testing of manual and automatic space docking, launch of third third lunar probe, Chang'e-3 to land on moon to conduct lunar exploration