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Thread: China's Hypersonic Space Shuttle

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    China's Hypersonic Space Shuttle

    China's ambition in space now also includes a hypersonic Space Shuttle.

    http://www.chinatopix.com/articles/9...ble-mach-5.htm

    China's planned version of the retired U.S. Space Shuttle will be a hypersonic space plane capable of exceeding Mach 5 (6,000 km/h) and propelled by a revolutionary combined cycle engine made in China.

    The specs of China's hypersonic space shuttle already exceed that of the Space Shuttle, which was an unpowered glider only capable of landing. The Space Shuttle had to be taken into orbit by a massive launch vehicle powered by solid and liquid fuel rocket boosters.

    n contrast, China's hypersonic space shuttle will take-off, enter Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to launch satellites or Chinese "yuhangyuans" (astronauts) on the planned Chinese space station and land under its own power.

    China plans to develop and test this vehicle over the next three to five years, and plans to have the hypersonic shuttle in service by 2030. Flight testing is expected to begin in 2020.

    The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CATSC) said China's space plane will use a combined cycle engine. Take-off from a runway will be powered by a turbofan or turbojet engine. A ramjet engine will then kick-in to propel space plane upward through atmosphere.

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    Notice the misappropriated image of the British Skylon!

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    nvm

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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    China's ambition in space now also includes a hypersonic Space Shuttle.
    Selvaarchi,

    An image of Skylon! Epic. Stick to more informed sources:

    http://www.popsci.com/chinas-hybrid-...efault&src=syn

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    Mach 5 isn't enough for orbit, speed racer.

    Each STS orbiter came back at Mach 25 or so.

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    More information on what China is planing for their future space plane. Very much in the direction India is also heading.

    http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2...t_26849791.htm

    New concept opens range of possibilities for high-speed commercial travel, tourism

    Chinese space engineers will join hands to develop a next-generation craft with enormous business potential for commercial launches and space tourism, according to an industry conference.

    As competition in the international aerospace field becomes increasingly fierce, Chinese space engineers have reached a consensus that the new craft is of great importance to China's aviation and space sectors, a statement released after the First China Combined-Cycle Aerospace Vehicle Development Forum in Beijing said on Tuesday.

    The cutting-edge craft will have many opportunities in the government-backed space and business sectors, so Chinese researchers have decided to work together to develop the technology, it said.

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    More information on the the Chinese space plane. They hope to have it flying in 2020.

    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/socie...echnology-race

    China has made “significant *progress” in building a spacecraft that can take off and land using an airstrip the way planes do, a development that one expert says could narrow the space technology gap with the United States.

    The spaceplane is being developed by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (Casic) as part of Beijing’s space programme. The aim is for it to carry both astronauts and cargo to and from space missions, Liu Shiquan, vice-president of Casic, a key defence contractor, said.

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    arstechnica's take on the Chinese space plane.

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2017...aunch-in-2020/

    There have been rumors about China's development of a spaceplane for the better part of a decade, but now the vehicle has a tentative launch date. According to a statement from China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, published by the Chinese state news service Xinhua, the reusable spacecraft will launch in 2020.

    Should Chinese scientists and engineers deliver on their promises, some of the technology promised by the new spaceplane will be downright futuristic. Based on various reports, the spacecraft would take off from a runway and then, higher in the atmosphere, shift to ramjet propulsion before finally using rocket motors to exit Earth's atmosphere and move into orbit around the planet.

    In June, a key official with the state corporation developing the vehicle said significant progress had been made. “Currently, China is developing its own reusable earth-to-orbit space vehicles that can take off and land horizontally," Liu Shiquan, vice director of the China Aerospace Science & Industry Corporation, said. "We have already finished several crucial ground tests for engines and [other key components], yielding remarkable achievements."

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    China's reusable space plane

    China is working on a reusable space plane. Last mont they successfully tested a scaled-down model.

    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/socie...ic-drone-model

    China launched a scaled-down model of a multipurpose, reusable space plane from a test site in the Gobi Desert late last month, part of its race to develop space travel technology.

    The hypersonic space drone lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in Inner Mongolia, accelerated to more than five times the speed of sound and reached orbital altitude before returning safely to ground, according to a researcher with knowledge of the experiment.

    China’s goal was to develop a space plane for both military and civilian missions, capable of travelling fast enough to penetrate missile defence systems and with the heft to help rebuild satellite networks or lift tourists to space, the researcher said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 7cscb View Post
    Selvaarchi,

    An image of Skylon! Epic. Stick to more informed sources:

    http://www.popsci.com/chinas-hybrid-...efault&src=syn
    7cscb looks like my source was correct.

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    Looks a lot like X-37B. But if it lifted off on its own power, that is a major difference of course. Note they said orbital altitude, not speed.
    Last edited by Nicolas; 2018-Mar-07 at 07:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    7cscb looks like my source was correct.
    Selvaarchi,

    I have no idea how actual development of a Chinese space plane excuses bad journalism. Or are you saying they are developing the British Skylon?

    I think most readers of this site wish to be informed with facts related to space development instead of the fantabulising of government propaganda.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 7cscb View Post
    Selvaarchi,

    I have no idea how actual development of a Chinese space plane excuses bad journalism. Or are you saying they are developing the British Skylon?

    I think most readers of this site wish to be informed with facts related to space development instead of the fantabulising of government propaganda.
    It is not all propaganda as the US military has said China has carried out several tests on hypersonic rockets. They do say, not much details are released, as the article points out it is for both military and civilian use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    It is not all propaganda as the US military has said China has carried out several tests on hypersonic rockets. They do say, not much details are released, as the article points out it is for both military and civilian use.
    I understand that. Just because there is a grain of truth does not excuse the false aspects. And my original comment was from last August related to using photos of Skylon. Do you think this was or is OK?

    No more replies from me on this.

    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    China's ambition in space now also includes a hypersonic Space Shuttle.
    Maybe a bit late here, but could a space shuttle not be hypersonic? I suppose if you imagine a weird scenario like a shuttle that just goes straight up and down and maintains itself with an engine that continues to burn...
    As above, so below

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Maybe a bit late here, but could a space shuttle not be hypersonic? I suppose if you imagine a weird scenario like a shuttle that just goes straight up and down and maintains itself with an engine that continues to burn...
    They are not looking at it for suborbital flight as the comments from the article indicate -

    "It will be able to take off from a normal airport and take spacecraft into orbit. It will be a revolution for space transport,” Zhang told state broadcaster China Central Television.

    He said Tengyun, a civilian version of the space plane, would be able to carry both passengers and cargo into orbit or to a space station."

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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    They are not looking at it for suborbital flight as the comments from the article indicate -

    "It will be able to take off from a normal airport and take spacecraft into orbit. It will be a revolution for space transport,” Zhang told state broadcaster China Central Television.

    He said Tengyun, a civilian version of the space plane, would be able to carry both passengers and cargo into orbit or to a space station."
    Sure, but what I meant to say is, if they are going to use it to bring spacecraft into orbit, it better be hypersonic... If it's not hypersonic they are going to lose a lot of passengers and cargo.
    As above, so below

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    Confirmation from Zhang Hongwen, president of the Third Academy of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), the main contractor for the Chinese space program, that China is researching an aerospace plane and "solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicles".

    http://www.ecns.cn/cns-wire/2018/03-07/294939.shtml

    China plans to launch a homegrown, reusable space plane in a project codenamed "Tengyun Project" (or Cloud Riding Project). The spacecraft, now at an early stage of research, can transport people or a payload into orbit from an ordinary airport and then return to Earth.

    Zhang Hongwen, president of the Third Academy of CASIC and also a member of the political advisory body Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said the new spacecraft could be revolutionary for space transportation.

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    And ?

    selvaarchi, I regard these ideas as so much propaganda. The runway to space plane is basically impractical. The other idea, solar powered high altitude flight, had been done just fine by ohers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Mendenhall View Post
    selvaarchi, I regard these ideas as so much propaganda. The runway to space plane is basically impractical. The other idea, solar powered high altitude flight, had been done just fine by ohers.
    The drone yes and they are playing catch up. Hypersonic they are at leading edge.

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    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Mendenhall View Post
    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.
    Here is an article in an Australian newspaper on China's Hypersonic missile. And from Wikipedia on India's Hypersonic missile.

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    The test model is shown in a wind tunnel. I saw another photo which showed the test object to be quite small, about a meter in length. Is THAT what they put on the end of the DF-17 rocket?

    There is reason to be skeptical - very little evidence made public (understandable) but the articles look like sensationalist nonsense regurgitating press releases from the government.

    I'm also confused as to how an HGV can deliver a nuclear weapon any more reliably than current MIRV technology. Why is a gliding HGV a better vehicle than a falling warhead?

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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    The test model is shown in a wind tunnel. I saw another photo which showed the test object to be quite small, about a meter in length. Is THAT what they put on the end of the DF-17 rocket?

    There is reason to be skeptical - very little evidence made public (understandable) but the articles look like sensationalist nonsense regurgitating press releases from the government.

    I'm also confused as to how an HGV can deliver a nuclear weapon any more reliably than current MIRV technology. Why is a gliding HGV a better vehicle than a falling warhead?
    If you watched the video in the Australian article, it has a good explanation.

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    Popular Mechanics carries an article on China's Spaceplane.

    https://www.popularmechanics.com/mil...ne-of-its-own/

    China is reportedly developing a reusable spaceplane capable of delivering cargo to Earth orbit. The unnamed spacecraft appears similar to the U.S. Air Force’s X-37B space plane and likely has the same missions. However, it does differ from its American cousin in some key respects—at least for now.

    Chinese state television recently ran a segment describing a new spaceplane under development, comparing it to the American X-37B. Operated by the U.S. Air Force, the X-37B is something of an unmanned space truck, carrying classified payloads into low-earth orbit and staying there for up to 700 days at a time. The X-37B is lofted into orbit by a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket using Russian-supplied RD-180 liquid fuel rocket boosters.

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    Latest information on the their space plane indicates it comes in two different sizes and can reach up to Mach 22. Don't expect to see it anytime soon as first test flight is 2030.

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Ch...plane_999.html

    The CCTV report showed that the space plane is composed of two planes, with the larger aircraft acting as a carrier aircraft.

    A military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times that the core technology of the larger aircraft is an air-breathing rocket engine using hydrogen fuel.

    Such an engine could liquefy oxygen, and then fuel the aircraft with liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen while flying in the atmosphere. The liquid fuel could accelerate the flight in space, with speeds potentially reaching 22 times the speed of sound, the expert said.

    The larger aircraft, once used as a military aircraft, will be difficult to be intercepted by current anti-missile systems, he added.

    The project, codenamed "Tengyun Project," was first revealed in 2016, and according to the plan, the plane will conduct its first test flight in 2030, said Liu Shiquan, vice president of CASIC, the Science and Technology Daily reported in December 2016.

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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Latest information on the their space plane indicates it comes in two different sizes and can reach up to Mach 22. Don't expect to see it anytime soon as first test flight is 2030.
    Supporting the March 22 requirements is the development of a wind tunnel that can support seed of up to March 25.

    http://www.sinodaily.com/afp/180320114349.f07lax30.html

    China has announced it is building the world's fastest wind tunnel to develop a new generation of super-fast airplanes, but it could also be used for hypersonic missile technology.
    Wind tunnels test how air will pass over a solid object, helping designers improve aerodynamics or reduce stress points for objects as they reach high speeds.

    State-run Xinhua news agency ran a report late Monday revealing the development of what it said would be "the world's fastest hypersonic wind tunnel".

    "The 265-meter-long tunnel can be used to test hypersonic aircraft that can travel at speeds of up to Mach 25 (30,625 kph), 25 times the speed of sound," Han Guilai, a researcher with China's State Key Laboratory of High Temperature Gas Dynamics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, was quoted as saying.

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    Don't Blindly Believe Anything You Read

    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Here is an article in an Australian newspaper on China's Hypersonic missile. And from Wikipedia on India's Hypersonic missile.
    Here is a much more reliable evaluation of the siuation:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prompt_Global_Strike

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Mendenhall View Post
    Here is a much more reliable evaluation of the siuation:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prompt_Global_Strike
    I believe the US is developing such systems. But other countries have it already in production like India.

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    The Indian system has a reach of less than 2000 km and no mention of a carrier aircraft. That's not yet exactly on par with a global strike system.
    Last edited by Nicolas; 2018-Mar-22 at 07:55 AM.

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