China's Space Program Thread II


Lieutenant General
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This paper is dedicated to the manned moon mission. The mission requires 27t to LTO (crew module and service module being 25t in total), the LEO mass would be 70t. It is the max capacity, meaning none of the core or boosters have any fuel left for landing.

VTVL is only meant for the single stick two stage variant for near earth mission.

It seems that this is clearly stated in

I am aware that the single stack version for LEO is VTVL capable.

But the whole reason this CZ-5G/DY rocket is important is because it adopts basically the same architecture as the single stack VTVL reusable version....

And as I've written before, the most important thing about the future heavy and super heavy lift rockets is that their geopolitical and military significance would be greatly enhanced by being VTVL reusable for their first stages.

The 27t LTO for the CZ-5G is neat and all, and the lunar mission has some scientific significance yes...
.... but much more important is the potential reusable LEO (and GEO) launch capacity (which is likely to be fairly sizeable given it has a 70t LEO expended launch capacity).

For the Chinese space industry, the two most important things to watch out for in order of priority IMO is:
1. News on CZ-9 VTVL reusability
2. News on CZ-5G (three stack) VTVL reusability

Everything else is almost inconsequential, because those projects are going to be the rate limiting steps for proper future utilization of space for geopolitical and military means if needed.


Lieutenant General
According news reports, a hypersonic sub-orbital transport project from the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology has received approval from the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

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Lieutenant General
An academic paper on development of reusable (VTVL) Lox/LCH4 rocket. It summarizes current progress and explores possible future directions. Unfortunately, I can't find a copy of the paper, so I'm relying on a summary I found online. A Google translation is provided below.

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4m级直径:两级构型,一子级采用7台或9台80t级液氧甲烷发动机(70t级发动机改进型),二子级采用一台80t级真空版液氧甲烷发动机,其700kmSSO轨道的一子级前场返回运力3.5~6.5 t。 4m级直径是内陆发射运载火箭的最大可运输直径,在发射相关设施进行适应性改建之后,可以用于提升内陆发射场的发射能力。

7m级直径:两级构型,一级安装19~22台80t级液氧甲烷发动机,二级安装2台80t级真空版液氧甲烷发动机,其700kmSSO轨道的一子级前场返回运力大于20t。 7m级直径火箭在沿海发射,需建设新的发射工位和海上回收平台,海上回收平台根据不同弹道提前预置,全面满足大型有效载荷及巨型星座组网发射的需求。



低空低速飞行试验(飞行高度1 km以下) 用于验证液氧甲烷动力系统、发动机深度推力调节与推力快速控制技术、返回导航制导技术和大承载着陆缓冲技术。

高空高速飞行试验(飞行高度100 km 以上)用于验证栅格舵和直气复合控制、液氧甲烷发动机高空点火、返回推进剂管理、返回热环境预示及防护、着陆缓冲和全箭重复使用设计及维护等垂直起降重复使用全部的关键技术。





第二步:研制9~10m直径重型垂直起降两级完全重复使用运载火箭。该方案基于9~10m级直径和200t级闭式循环液氧甲烷发动机构建。一子级采用25~28台发动机。二子级采用6~9台与一级状态基本相同的发动机。完全重复使用状态LEO运力100 t,打造高效低成本高可靠的完全重复使用航天运输系统,可实现现有航天运输系统的全部功能,运载火箭性能及发射价格得到跨越式进步。


In the demonstration of the serialized type spectrum of my country's first-generation vertical take-off and landing rocket by the 805 Institute of the Eighth Academy of Aerospace Science and Technology, three configurations of liquid oxygen methane rockets with diameters of 3.35m, 4m and 7m appeared, covering 700km SSO of 2.5t to 20t. Capacity range.

3.35m class diameter: two-stage configuration, the first sub-stage adopts five 70t-class open-cycle liquid oxygen methane engines "Longyun", and the second sub-stage adopts a 70t-class vacuum version "Longyun" engine. The first-level forefield return carrying capacity of its 700km SSO orbit is about 2.5t, and the LEO carrying capacity is about 5t.

4m class diameter: two-stage configuration, one sub-stage adopts 7 or 9 80t-class liquid oxygen methane engines (70t-class engine improved version), and the second sub-stage adopts an 80t-class vacuum version liquid oxygen methane engine. Its 700km SSO orbital The return capacity of the first sub-class is 3.5~6.5 t. The 4m-level diameter is the maximum transportable diameter of the inland launch vehicle. After the launch-related facilities are adapted, it can be used to improve the launch capacity of the inland launch site.

7m class diameter: two-stage configuration, 19~22 80t-class liquid oxygen methane engines are installed in the first stage, and two 80t-class vacuum version liquid oxygen methane engines are installed in the second stage. The return capacity of the first sub-stage of the 700km SSO orbit is greater than 20t . The 7m-class diameter rocket is launched along the coast, and a new launch station and offshore recovery platform need to be built. The offshore recovery platform is preset according to different ballistics in advance to fully meet the needs of large payloads and giant constellation network launches.

The key technologies of the first-generation vertical take-off and landing launch vehicle mainly include 7 items: (1) repeated use of engine technology for multiple starts and depth changes; (2) high-precision multi-constraint vertical return navigation guidance and control technology; (3) large load High reliability landing buffer system technology; (4) blunt body high-speed return aerodynamic characteristic prediction technology; (5) high Mach reverse jet thermal environment prediction and protection technology; (6) large disturbance negative overload low temperature propellant management technology ; (7) Grid rudder and straight gas compound control technology.

At present, the maturity of the first-generation vertical take-off and landing key technologies in China has met the conditions for conducting demonstration flight tests. The project team proposed the development idea of power foundation, control first, step-by-step demonstration, and key breakthroughs, and carried out a series of integrated demonstration and verification tests from rocket-powered low-altitude and low-speed flight tests to rocket-powered high-altitude high-speed flight tests.

The low-altitude and low-speed flight test (flight altitude below 1 km) is used to verify the liquid oxygen methane power system, the deep thrust adjustment of the engine and the rapid thrust control technology, the return navigation guidance technology and the large load landing buffer technology.

High-altitude high-speed flight tests (flying altitudes above 100 km) are used to verify grid rudder and straight gas composite control, high-altitude ignition of liquid oxygen and methane engines, return propellant management, return thermal environment prediction and protection, landing buffer and full arrow reuse design And maintenance and other vertical take-off and landing reuse all key technologies.

The main technical characteristics of the second-generation vertical take-off and landing launch vehicle are: large-scale and two-stage complete reuse. Class, high thrust closed-cycle liquid oxygen methane engine technology, and other classes are divided into four categories.

Specifically include large-diameter arrow body construction technology, multiple (20 or more) engine parallel technology, low mass-to-drag ratio winged cone cylinder to return to high-speed domain adaptation aerodynamic design and accurate prediction technology, orbit-level return guidance + attitude control + Pneumatic integration joint design technology, orbital-level return thermal environment prediction technology, orbital-level return large heat flow protection technology that can be quickly detected and maintained, complex profile propellant management technology, 200t-level multiple start-up depth variable thrust closed circulation liquid oxygen methane Key technologies such as engine technology (vacuum specific impulse over 370s), large-scale rocket launch jet impact analysis and suppression technology without diversion groove, launch tower mechanical capture air recovery technology and large-load arresting rope system and other key technologies.

On the basis of the engineering application of the first-generation vertical take-off and landing reusable launch vehicle, the development of a two-stage fully reusable rocket is carried out.

The first step: On the basis of the 7m-level diameter one sub-stage return rocket, develop a 7m-diameter low mass-to-drag ratio winged cone cylinder with a vertical return two sub-stages, forming a two-stage fully repeatable launch vehicle, providing the LEO capacity of 10t. cost shipping capacity.

The second step: develop a 9~10m diameter heavy vertical take-off and landing two-stage fully reusable launch vehicle. The scheme is based on a 9-10m class diameter and 200t class closed-cycle liquid oxygen methane engine. A sub-stage uses 25 to 28 engines. The second stage uses 6 to 9 engines that are basically the same as the first stage. The fully reusable LEO capacity is 100 t, creating a fully reusable space transportation system with high efficiency, low cost and high reliability. It can realize all the functions of the existing space transportation system, and the performance of the launch vehicle and the launch price have improved by leaps and bounds.

The application mode of the two-stage fully reusable launch vehicle will also be gradually expanded, such as commercial space tourism, intercontinental transportation and solar system exploration.

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