Monday, March 08, 2010

China Studying Moon Rocket?

China is studying the design of a Moon rocket in the class of the Saturn V, as the Obama administration proposes canceling the U.S. successor to the Apollo launcher, Ares V.

The country also is developing another new rocket, the “medium thrust” Long March 7, the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology says. This new launcher joins the Long March 5 heavy rocket and the Long March 6, which was mentioned last year and is now defined as a “small-thrust” launcher. Long March 5, 6 and 7 will form a family of rockets, it says.

Chinese space officials have said that the Long March 6 was based on the side boosters of the Long March 5. Those side boosters come in two sizes, which could be arranged variously as first or second core stages or as boosters. Long March 7 is therefore likely to be a more powerful combination of the same collection of equipment.

China said last year that development of Long March 6 had begun and that it would appear in 2013, a year before Long March 5.

Note. Studying does not mean building. NASA studies HLVs all the time...

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