China's Space Program News Thread


by78

Brigadier
More re-usable spaceplane concepts from various studies.

An RBCC single-stage earth-to-space reusable spaceplane:

51091569856_87abd1befa_c.jpg



A small reusable launch vehicle for small/micro satellites, similar in concept to DARPA's XS-1:
51092378310_3da4ed6386_o.jpg


Yet another reusable spaceplane concept. Note the rubbers integrated into the wings:
51091569836_963bdbc540_o.jpg
 

pipaster

Junior Member
Registered Member
Just wondering.

How big will the new Chinese Space Station be?

Weight and size?

It will have three roughly 16.6 *4.2m cylindrical modules, each weighing roughly 22 tons, plus a resupply, and crewed spacecraft.
 

ILikeChina

Junior Member
Registered Member
A correction. The report says
本次与五院的关联交易内容为购买中星6D、中星6E、中星9B、中星26号等4颗中星系列卫星及相关AIT技术服务,交易金额为278,380万元。本次与火箭研究院的关联交易内容为火箭研究院提供长征三号乙增强型运载火箭发射5颗中星系列卫星至指定轨道并提供相应的服务支持,交易金额为13亿元(该交易合同包含2019年《运载火箭关键部件及长周期物资备料交付协议》中已支付的1.66亿元,剔除该因素,本次与火箭研究院新增日常关联交易金额为11.34亿元)。本次日常关联交易涉及新增总金额合计为人民币391,780万元。

There are two separate contracts. The launch contract is about 5 (not 4) launches. The 5 seems to be correct because the following paragraph repeated 5 again, indicating it is not a typo by the author. The launch contract is 1.3 billion RMB, the 1.134 is final payment of the same launch package. The previously payed 166 million RMB was to reserve the production slot and key components. It should be calculated in the total cost of launch.

1.3 billion RMB means 260 million RMB or 40 million USD per launch excluding the payload. This is still better than F9 though.

Here is my calculation of cost per unit mass in GTO launch in million USD term.

F9 in its max capacity (new/reused)
Reusable modePayload cap (tonne)New RocketCost per tonneReused RocketCost per tonne
Not reused8.5627.29505.88
ASDS5.56211.27509.09
RTLS3.56217.715014.29

LM-3B/E
Payload cap (tonne)New RocketCost per tonne
5.5​
40​
7.27

F9 is only cheaper when using an old rocket without reusing. And that "cheaper" is not cheaper at all because that price is based on the fact that some previous customers have paid a higher prices before. For a particular customer 5.88 is cheaper, but averaging out, from both SpaceX's perspective and the market (all customers) perspective F9 is more expensive than LM-3B/E.

The exchange rate is nominal rate. If we use PPP rate which the Americans prefer to use, LM-3B/E would be much cheaper than F9 in every way.

From another angle, without Vitical Landing capability F9 as a rocket is not an outstanding rocket at all in all other regards.

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But a Chinese official told me in 2019 that improved processes and high production rates had driven the cost of CASC’s launches down in recent years to about US$50 million from US$70 million.
I really didn't want to quote aspi, but I found this article on Wikipedia about Long March 3B cost. Do you think it may be true? It's pretty close data to data given by this contract of 40 m$.
 

voyager1

Junior Member
Registered Member
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I really didn't want to quote aspi, but I found this article on Wikipedia about Long March 3B cost. Do you think it may be true? It's pretty close data to data given by this contract of 40 m$.
Thats an impressively low figure. I always thought that China's rocket launches were like the old NASA, non-innovative, and very costly.


40 million dollars is an excellent low cost figure for a rocket. Hopefully these new space companies can also deliver similar results quickly
 

taxiya

Colonel
Registered Member
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I really didn't want to quote aspi, but I found this article on Wikipedia about Long March 3B cost. Do you think it may be true? It's pretty close data to data given by this contract of 40 m$.
I don't quite understand the question. What is true? The 50m usd by this article's claim? 40m usd is the contract statement in 2021. The 50m figure is in 2019 by the author's claim. It is only natural that the cost went further down over two years.
 

taxiya

Colonel
Registered Member
40 million dollars is an excellent low cost figure for a rocket. Hopefully these new space companies can also deliver similar results quickly
The low cost of CZ-3B is because the rocket development cost have been absorbed by over 300 times of CZ launches, now it is only cost of manufacturing. All the CZ-2,3,4 use the same engines and fuselage.

Falcon 9 so far has launched just over 100 times. If it was not because of its re-usability, its price would have been much higher now to pay back the development cost. This applies to any new space companies (China or else).

So if any of these companies want to compete with similar price/payload/orbit, they have to be reusable to similar level as SpaceX. So far, I don't see anyone in the world coming close. The new companies in China are working on rockets primarily on smaller rockets.

P.S. the reusable CZ-8R is up to the task for competition, but it is not a new company though.
 

taxiya

Colonel
Registered Member
Just wondering.

How big will the new Chinese Space Station be?

Weight and size?
Initial plan is 3 modules in a T shape. Each module is 20 to 22 tonnes at launch. Later launches by space craft will further add equipment and supply mass. There will also be cargo space craft and crew space craft docked to the station. At any time there will be a crew space craft docked. So the total mass is more than 80 tonnes.

Afterwards, there will be a space telescope on the same orbit in close range. It is about 14 tonnes. The module was planned to be part of the station, but later decided to not to be physically connected but flying on the same orbit in very close range for maintenance and refueling. The reason was the to avoid disturbance to the telescope. So if it is counted as part of the station, the total mass would be close to 100 tonnes.

The above are decided elements. There is provision of the design that more modules can be mounted if there is demand in the future. The total mass can be anywhere from 180 tonnes.

Here is the source, interview of Zhou Jianping, the chief designer of manned space program in 2019.
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The basic configuration around 2022. Three modules, one core and two laboratories.
我首先说基本构型,我们在2022年前后要建造的空间站是什么样子。我们有三个舱,一个叫做核心舱,它是第一个发射的。然后有两个实验舱。
The extended configuration, first extend the T shape to a cross (another core), then add more modules to the new core.
我们这个空间站还有扩展构型,扩展构型就是在这个空间的基础上,T字型平面往前延伸,就是把它变成一个十字型的时候,还可以再构建一个空间站的舱段,扩展空间站。在它的边上还可以增加新的舱段,实现空间站的扩展。当然,扩展构型要在以后看我们科学研究的需要再来决定什么时候做,做成什么功能。

The dimension around 2022 is >20 meters by >30 meters.
 

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