|New Chinese LV - New Chinese launch vehicle design considered in 1992 using Lox/Kerosene propellants and Russian engine technology. It is now understood that the first manned spacecraft will be launched by a CZ-2E variant launch vehicle using storable propellants.|
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In 1992 Xiandong Bao of the Shanghai Astronautics Bureau revealed plans for a modular family of modern rockets to support future Chinese manned space activities. The entire family would be based on a Lox/Kerosene booster stage of 306 tonnes mass, and a Lox/LH2 upper stage of 57 tonnes mass. The stages would be combined and clustered to achieve a wide range of payload capabilities:
|Upper Stages Stages||1||none||none||1||none||none|
|Lift-off mass (tonnes)||373||944||802||1,018||1,583||2,219|
|Lift-off thrust (kN)||4 x 1,200||12 x 1,200||8 x 1,200|
+2 x 490*
|12 x 1,200||20 x 1,200||28 x 1,200|
|Payload LEO (tonnes)||11||22||30||38||48||70|
* The B vehicle unusually used two of the Lox/LH2 engines to supplement the main engines.
Like Chelomeiís UR-700 vehicles, the core booster engines would ignite at lift-off but initially use propellants from the lateral booster stages. At jettison of the lateral stages, the connections would be closed, allowing the core booster to proceed with the next burn with full propellant tanks.
The stages were sized at 4.5 m diameter to allow rail transport from the factory to the launch site at Jiuquan. Lateral clustering of the boosters allowed the height of the vehicle to be kept at no more than 60 m.
The drawings of the rockets provided show an upper stage with dimensions that are not consistent with the use of Lox/LH2 in the usual Western oxidiser:fuel ratio of 6:1. Either the upper stage actually is wider than indicated (e.g. 5.4 m to match the payload shroud of the larger versions) or some exotic cryogenic propellant technologies were envisioned (slush hydrogen, oxygen-rich off-optimum propellant use). The upper stage was equipped with a guidance section and a storable propellant engine unit for on-orbit manoeuvring and restart of the main engine. Therefore it could form the basis for a trans-lunar or deep space injection stage for the Type E vehicle.
The original Project 921 proposal was issued by the Shanghai Astronautics Bureau in October 1993 for inclusion in the Eight and Ninth Five Year Economic Plans. Shanghai proposed the development of six large carrier rockets and eight new spacecraft. But the plan was not approved in its entirety. The program for the new liquid oxygen and kerosene rockets was delayed, and resources were put instead into the development of large solid motors for military use. The Project 921-1 spacecraft was approved for launch on a modification of the storable-propellant CZ-2E, called CZ-2F.
|Chinese Type E LV - The largest known Chinese launch vehicle, the Type E. This would consist of a cluster of six modular stages around a single module core.|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 9,473 bytes. 141 x 480 pixels.
LEO Payload: 11,000 kg. to: 300 km Orbit. at: 60.0 degrees. Liftoff Thrust: 489,600 kgf. Total Mass: 373,000 kg. Core Diameter: 4.5 m. Total Length: 55.0 m.
|Chinese Manned LVs - Chinese Launch Vehicles for Manned Projects. From left: Tsien Spaceplane Launcher, 1978; Project 921 Launch Vehicle, 1992; CZ-2F, 1999; CZ-2E(A), 2000. Only the last two were put into full scale development.|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 21,771 bytes. 360 x 480 pixels.
|China Lunar LV's - From left to right, existing Chinese manned program vehicles (CZ-2F and CZ-2E(A)) and proposed future vehicles (Type A, and Type C).|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 19,172 bytes. 340 x 385 pixels.