Credit: CASC

Credit: CASC

It has been announced that China’s Long March- 7 booster has passed a joint assessment by the China Aerospace Science & Technology Corporation and China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology.

The outcome of the appraisal, according to a June 18 report in China’s state-run news output, the People’s Daily Online, is that the technical condition of Long March-7 rocket production has been identified. The next stage focus will be placed on rocket production, assembly and testing of the launcher.

These items mean that the Long March 7 rocket is slated to make its maiden flight in 2016, according to the People’s Daily Online.

Long March-7 has been identified as a new generation of medium-size launch vehicle, striving for a high degree of reliability and security.

The launcher was developed to meet the demand of placing cargo spaceships to China’s manned space station and upgrading carrier rockets for future crewed spacecraft.

Long March stable

Earlier, Chinese news sources reported that, by the end of this year, China hopes to have staged the maiden launch of its Long March-6 rocket, which is designed to be a “high-speed response launch vehicle.”

The Long March-6 will be the latest member of the Long March stable, joining the Long March-7, which will ferry supplies and transport waste from the space station, and China’s most powerful rocket, the Long March-5.

The Long March-5 is to perform its maiden flight next year.

If all goes well, China will launch the core module of its space station in 2018 to test technologies and engineering, and the whole station will become fully operational around 2022, according to Wang Zhaoyao, former director of the China Manned Space Agency.

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