Work on all sections of the Long March 5 rocket tower is complete at a Tianjin test site. The rocket has entered the full Arrow modal testing phase. Production of the Long March 5 and Long March 6 is underway in a large industrial base in north China’s Tianjin Municipality Credit: China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation

Work on all sections of the Long March 5 rocket tower is complete at a Tianjin test site. The rocket has entered the full Arrow modal testing phase. Production of the Long March 5 and Long March 6 is underway in a large industrial base in north China’s Tianjin Municipality
Credit: China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation

China rocket engineers are reporting completion of the second and final ground test of the power system of China’s next-generation carrier rocket – the Long March 5.

This booster is central – among duties – to expanding China’s three-pronged Moon exploration program – orbiting, landing upon, and returning to Earth lunar surface samples.

Long March 5 is slated to have a payload capacity of boosting 25 tons to low Earth orbits, or 14 tons to geostationary transfer orbit. The launcher is also to lift segments of China’s 60-ton space station in the future.

As reported March 23 by the state-run Xinhua news agency, Long March 5 uses non-toxic, non-polluting liquid propellant. The engines of Long March 5 were first test-fired on the ground in February. Maiden flight of the rocket is scheduled for next year.

Shown is the Long March 5 rocket core box headed for a low temperature hydrogen tank station. Credit: China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation

Shown is the Long March 5 rocket core box headed for a low temperature hydrogen tank station.
Credit: China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation

Moon sample mission

Meanwhile, China’s Chang’e 5 lunar sample return mission is undergoing intensive development.

According to Xinhua, that Moon mission would be launched with a Long March 5 booster departing China’s new spaceport in south China’s Hainan Province “around 2017,” said Xu Dazhe, head of the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.

Go to this CCTV video report on the booster at:

http://english.cntv.cn/2015/03/25/VIDE1427226841928266.shtml

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