China’s powerful Long March 5 booster – but planting taikonaut boots on the Moon requires a bigger, more powerful booster.
Image credit: CASC


New details regarding China’s Long March 9 booster have been discussed by a leading rocket designer from the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology.

According to China Daily, the overall, baseline structural design for the nation’s super-heavy carrier rocket is a large, three-stage rocket about 360 feet (110 meters) tall.

Long March 9’s liftoff weight will be about 4,000 metric tons and generate a thrust power of nearly 6,000 tons. The diameter of its core stage will be about 33 feet (10 meters), according to Gu Mingkun, deputy chief of the Overall Design Department with China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology.

Image credit: China Global Television Network (CGTN)

The launcher’s carrying capacity will be more than five times that of Long March 5, at present China’s most powerful booster.

Gu made his remarks at a recent news conference in Beijing held by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. The event took place to unveil the Blue Book of China Aerospace Science and Technology Activities in 2022 and explain the company’s research and development plans for the future.

Image credit: China Global Television Network (CGTN)

Image credit: CGTN/Inside Outer Space screengrab

Moon, Mars duties

According to Gu, the rocket will be tasked to transport spaceships weighing up to 50 tons to an Earth-Moon transfer trajectory for lunar missions, such as the construction of a large-scale science outpost or mining operation on the Moon. It will also be able to hurl spacecraft on deep-space missions, including placing Chinese astronauts on Mars.

Image credit: CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

In addition to the baseline model, a second version is to have two stages, capable of deploying spacecraft with a combined weight of 150 tons to a low-Earth orbit, Gu added, according to China Daily.

The rockets’ first stage will be reusable on both models and extensively reduce operational costs, Gu said.


Designing and manufacturing the Long March 9 “will inject momentum into a number of engineering fields including advanced high-performance materials and key electronic components,” Gu noted.

Go to this informative CGTN video at:


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