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Thread: China's new launch vehicles Long March Series

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    China's new launch vehicles Long March Series

    China's new rockets (Long March 5 to Long March 9) are too big to be taken by train to the existing space centers - the train tunnels are too narrow. To over come this, the Chinese government set about building a new space center on the Island of Hainan in south China. It was to have been completed last month but no news yet that it has happened. Some info on the center from spacecalendar.com issue June 2-8, 2014.

    Construction at the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center (WSLC) on the island of Hainan in southeast China is set for completion this month. The 20-square kilometer ~US$330-million project includes two main launch complexes LC101 and LC102, a rocket assembly plant, a command center, two tracking stations and various offices. With relatively clear flight paths over water East toward GTO, South toward SSO and Southeast toward LEO, Hainan offers safe operational conditions close to population centers and thus provides major opportunities for community engagement. Chengmin Pei, Party chief of Wenchang, expects the launch center to boost tourism to this already well established destination, the self-styled “Hawaii” of China. There are plans for a grand space theme park and space research center. Pei estimates that the first launch could draw 300,000 visitors to the city. In addition to low-latitude (19°N) and therefore highly efficient launch profiles, the site offers more geographical advantages. Every other China launch facility is constrained by railroad transportation infrastructure to an overall rocket width of 3.35 meters, whereas coastal Wenchang allows much larger boosters, specifically the Long March 5 & 7 currently in development, to arrive by sea from manufacturing sites in Tianjin. WSLC will enable ambitious future Moon missions and large scale Space Station development.
    To start this thread I have included a short article on the proposed new rockets. We will get more information in the next year when Long March 5 and possible Long March 7 will be launched.

    http://www.spacesafetymagazine.com/l...flights-years/

    China’s Long March -5, -6, and -7 are expected to make their maiden flights by 2017.

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    It seems like the Long March 7 will launch before the Long March 5. China just released a photo of Mobile launch platform in front of the CZ-7 vehicle assembly building in Wenchang Satellite Launch Center (WSLC) on Facebook.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=1&theater

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    It is that CZ-9 I waqnt to see fly. SLS has gotten other nations to focus on heavy lift. Now Space-lift can really begin--now that we don't have dead-mass-on-orbit wings to deal with

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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    It was to have been completed last month but no news yet that it has happened.
    How fast do you expect it?

    In your next post (and previously in the other thread), you provide an article that said 39 of 91 of the infrastructure was completed.

    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    To start this thread I have included a short article on the proposed new rockets.
    Thank you for starting a specific thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    It seems like the Long March 7 will launch before the Long March 5. China just released a photo of Mobile launch platform in front of the CZ-7 vehicle assembly building in Wenchang Satellite Launch Center (WSLC) on Facebook.
    It has seemed like that for well over a year.
    They were both originally to have their maiden flights in 2013.



    I'm still trying to sort out the difference between the 5 and 7. The more I look, the more it doesn't seem like the numbering doesn't align with payload capacities. It seems more like they are completely different target missions. Probably just the ratio of first and second stage capabilities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    How fast do you expect it?

    In your next post (and previously in the other thread), you provide an article that said 39 of 91 of the infrastructure was completed.


    Thank you for starting a specific thread.


    It has seemed like that for well over a year.
    They were both originally to have their maiden flights in 2013.



    I'm still trying to sort out the difference between the 5 and 7. The more I look, the more it doesn't seem like the numbering doesn't align with payload capacities. It seems more like they are completely different target missions. Probably just the ratio of first and second stage capabilities.
    My personal opinion is the space port has been completed. They are now waiting for the availability of the right VIPs to do the opening ceremony.

    The Long March 7 is the ferry for their astronauts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    My personal opinion is the space port has been completed.
    Opinion vs a Chinese publication? I'll rely on things that are in writing.

    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    The Long March 7 is the ferry for their astronauts.
    Tentatively. What gets me is that LM5 capability is quoted in LEO and GTO while LM7 is quoted in SSO. So; it's hard to tell what the capabilities are in an apples to apples way.

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    Wenchang Launch Center

    Wide shot


    Vehicle Assembly Buildings


    Launch azimuths

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    Long March 7 being assembled/built

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=1&theater

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    How fast do you expect it?

    In your next post (and previously in the other thread), you provide an article that said 39 of 91 of the infrastructure was completed.


    Thank you for starting a specific thread.


    It has seemed like that for well over a year.
    They were both originally to have their maiden flights in 2013.



    I'm still trying to sort out the difference between the 5 and 7. The more I look, the more it doesn't seem like the numbering doesn't align with payload capacities. It seems more like they are completely different target missions. Probably just the ratio of first and second stage capabilities.
    Bad news. The space centre took a direct hit from a super typhoon over the weekend. Damage still being assessed.
    This will impact the time line to test the new rockets. Which will have a knock on affect on the space station construction and the planned moon probes.
    See image of the typhoon over the island in "China Space " on Facebook.

    Some information on the typhoon

    " Rammasun, known locally as “Glenda,” was the strongest typhoon to hit China’s south in four decades, resulting in 608,000 being evacuated, reports Xinhua News Agency.
    In China, the island province of Hainan suffered the most destruction with 51,000 houses and 100,000 acres of crops wiped out. It also caused £1billion worth of damage in that region alone."
    Last edited by selvaarchi; 2014-Jul-23 at 04:26 AM.
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    Typhoon weakens after landing in China; Taiwan plane crashes in rain

    http://globalnews.ca/news/1468653/ty...utheast-china/

    The Ministry of Civil Affairs said 56 people died, raising the total in the Philippines, China and Vietnam to 161 deaths.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Launch window View Post
    Typhoon weakens after landing in China; Taiwan plane crashes in rain

    http://globalnews.ca/news/1468653/ty...utheast-china/
    This was typhoon Matmo not as powerful as typhoon Rammasun which stuck Wenchang Launch Center.

    Link to the picture of the storm as it swept across the island.

    https://www.facebook.com/ChinaSpace/...levant_count=1

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    Long March 7 rocket takes another step to be made operational.

    https://www.facebook.com/ChinaSpace/...type=1&theater

    Long March 7 booster separation test performed sucessfully.

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    China released a picture of Long March 7 mobile launch platform. My interest was the caption says it was taken at Wenchang Launch Center. The first picture to come out of the center since the storm stuck it (hopefully the picture is not an old one).

    https://www.facebook.com/ChinaSpace/...type=1&theater

    Long March 7 mobile launch platform parked next to service structure in Wenchang Launch Center. A preview of things to come.

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    On August 29, the propulsion system of CZ-7 rocket Core Stage 2 completed the hot-fire test successfully.

    http://en.cmse.gov.cn/show.php?contentid=1400

    CZ-7 rocket is China’s new-generation medium-lift launch vehicle with a near-earth orbit capacity of about 13 tons. It is designed to launch cargo vehicles in the construction of the future space station. The propulsion system hot-fire test of CZ-7 rocket Core Stage 2, an essential large-scale ground test, is the last hot-fire test of the propulsion module following booster and core stage tests. The test is aimed at demonstrating the validity of the design of the propulsion system of Core Stage 2, checking the compatibility of the rocket with the ground system and obtaining relevant test data. It will pave the way for the following development work.

    CZ-7 rocket Core Stage 2 is powered by four LOX/kerosene engines. During the test, the engines were fired normally and shut down at scheduled time. During the firing, each system functioned in good order. Judging from the test data, the test achieved huge success with all the parameters meeting the demands of the design.

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    The first launch of the Long March 5 has been delayed from the beginning of next year to the end.

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/china-plann...indias-1467328

    China is currently developing its Long March 5 rocket, which would carry probes to near Earth asteroids, Venus and Jupiter, as well as supporting an unmanned Mars landing.

    Long Lehao, chief designer of the carrier rocket series with the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, said the rocket should be launched by the end of next year and will vastly improve China's space exploration abilities.

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    The Long March 7 rocket was displayed at the 10th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai.

    http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/891337.shtml

    Another focus of public attention was the Long March CZ-7 rocket, a new generation of heavy lifting rocket. The CZ-7 will have the ability to boost 6.5 tons worth of material into space, and will be used to build a space station suitable for long-term habitation.
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    No pictures? So I searched.
    Article with picture of the rover.
    Article with picture of a model of LM CZ-5, and Another.
    Nothing with the LM CZ-7.

    It seems like the world's press agencies are more focused on the stealth fighter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    No pictures? So I searched.
    Article with picture of the rover.
    Article with picture of a model of LM CZ-5, and Another.
    Nothing with the LM CZ-7.

    It seems like the world's press agencies are more focused on the stealth fighter.
    Do not forget the Mars rover. The public are not interested in another picture of a rocket (I too did look for it ).
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Do not forget the Mars rover.
    What do you think is in my first link? (besides this is a launch vehicle thread. The rover is mentioned on the Mars thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    The public are not interested in another picture of a rocket (I too did look for it ).
    How do you know what the public wants? Is it any different than another picture of a rover?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    What do you think is in my first link? (besides this is a launch vehicle thread. The rover is mentioned on the Mars thread)


    How do you know what the public wants? Is it any different than another picture of a rover?
    I was replying on your comment on not being able to find a photo of the Long March 7 rocket. The only photos I could find from the exhibition were as you said the fighter aircrafts and the Mars rover.
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    That explains your opinion on my second comment, but what about my first?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    That explains your opinion on my second comment, but what about my first?
    Sorry you did point to the link to the Mars rover. So yes you found what I was also getting from my searches.
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    The article is supposed to be about "SpaceX Proves Challenging To China's Long March Launcher" but it gives more information on the Long March 7 than I have read else where.

    http://aviationweek.com/space/spacex...march-launcher

    Until last year, the Long March 7 was scheduled to fly in 2013. The first launch was then pushed to 2014. The year is not over yet, but there has been little activity to suggest that a first flight is imminent. Indeed, CASC has still been involved with major development aspects in recent months. That work may give a clue to difficulties that have been encountered.

    In particular, CASC said in July that the propulsion system of the Long March 7 had passed a second test that had mainly validated what it called the system for high-pressure supply (of propellant, presumably) and the “compatibility with the engine, control system, measurement system and launch ground support system.” Developers implemented more than 10 changes to address weak links revealed in a first test, CASC says. “The whole test program is normal,” it adds. “All test data is matching predictions. The changes have been effective.” This was also the last test for the first stage, indicating that its development is complete, the manufacturer says. Last year a senior CALT official said the engines for the new family were ready and were not the cause of delays, although he did not say what was.

    Long March 7 tests continued in August, when CASC reported that the low-temperature gas tank of the Long March 7 booster had successfully undergone a blast test.

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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    The article is supposed to be about "SpaceX Proves Challenging To China's Long March Launcher" but it gives more information on the Long March 7 than I have read else where.
    Even more challenging than the article says. The article is concentrating on one weight class (which is understandable), but from what I see of the launchers, their design is "maxed out"... In other words, they already have strap-ons or multi-cores. To go any bigger (like Falcon 9H or Angara), they will need a new core.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    Even more challenging than the article says. The article is concentrating on one weight class (which is understandable), but from what I see of the launchers, their design is "maxed out"... In other words, they already have strap-ons or multi-cores. To go any bigger (like Falcon 9H or Angara), they will need a new core.
    Is it not where the Long March 5 and Long March 9 come in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Is it not where the Long March 5 and Long March 9 come in.
    Yep; that's what I said in a way. I just expanded on the thought.

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    As China develops their new range of Long March rockets (5 to 9), they have just launched the 200th rocket in the old series.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/ch..._133837892.htm

    Sunday's mission was the 200th flight for the Long March since April 24, 1970 when a Long March-1 carried China's first satellite, Dongfanghong-1, into space.

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    China's new rockets using non-polluting propellants may fly as early as 2015.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/sc..._133840302.htm

    The Long March-5 will have a payload capacity of 25 tonnes to low Earth orbits, or 14 tonnes to geostationary transfer orbit, about twice the current capacity, and could be a serious competitor to the U.S. Delta-4H.

    The Long March-7 will carry up to 13.5 tonnes to low Earth orbit or 5.5 tonnes to sun-synchronous orbit at a height of 700 km. It will carry cargo craft for the planned space station. Its maiden flight should be next year.

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    China's Long March 9, the equivalent to the US SLS, first launch is set for 2028.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...n-mission.html

    Li said that the Long March-9's diameter and height would be far greater than the Long March-5, while its thrust would be more powerful.

    "We need to develop a brand new engine for it to make sure the rocket has sufficient thrust," he said.

    Li Jinghong, a designer at the academy, said the rocket would not only be used for missions to the Earth's only natural satellite, but also for other deep space exploration projects.

    The vehicle's diameter "should be eight to 10 metres", and its weight "at least 3,000 metric tonnes", he said.

    The information on the Long March 9 rocket as reported in the Chinese press with a few more details.

    http://www.ecns.cn/2014/12-08/145693.shtml

    China is conducting preliminary research on a super-heavy launch vehicle that will be used in its manned missions to the moon.

    "We are discussing the technological feasibility and requirements of the Long March-9, and research on the solutions to some technical difficulties have started," said Li Tongyu, head of aerospace products at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology. "Its specifications will mostly be determined by a host of factors, including the government's space plan and the nation's overall industrial capability, as well as its engine's development."

    The Long March-9's diameter and height will be much larger than those of the Long March-5, and its thrust will also be much stronger, he said.

    "Our current launch vehicles, including the Long March-5, which is set to conduct its first launch soon, will be able to undertake the country's space activities planned for the coming 10 years, but for the nation's long-term space programs, their capabilities will not be enough," he added, emphasizing the necessity and significance of a super-heavy rocket.

    "In addition, the cryogenic engine using liquid hydrogen fuel and liquid oxygen oxidizer (designed for the Long March-5) is not powerful enough for the Long March-9, so we need to develop a brand new engine for it to make sure the rocket has sufficient thrust."
    Last edited by selvaarchi; 2014-Dec-08 at 02:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    China's new rockets using non-polluting propellants may fly as early as 2015.
    Diesel is not non-polluting, and cryogenics do take a lot of energy to use (which would be non-polluting if they could use non-polluting energy sources)
    Their rockets are no more non-polluting than anyone else who is not using solids.

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