China to get two reusable rockets

The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) plans to launch large reusable rockets with a diameter of four and five meters in 2025 and 2026. Wang Wei, a deputy of the National People’s Congress, said this in an interview.

A test of a prototype Chinese reusable rocket. Source: Landspace

At the moment, it is not known exactly which rockets we are talking about. Presumably, the five-meter carrier is the Long March 10. It is designed to launch a new generation manned spacecraft “Mengzhou”. Its basic version will be used for launching into low-Earth orbit.

A more powerful three-stage version of the Long March 10 will be used for the lunar expedition. It is assumed that a pair of rockets will launch the Mengzhou with a crew into lunar orbit, as well as the Lanyue lander. There they will dock, after which a pair of taikonauts will board the Lanyue and land on the Moon. Then the taikonauts will take off, dock with the Mengzhou again and return to Earth. 

As for the four-meter rocket, it may be a carrier, the project of which was proposed by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology. It will be able to launch up to 6.5 tons of payload into a 700-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit (SSO). Unlike the manned Long March 10 program, this rocket is likely to compete with private Chinese companies. This is part of China’s national strategy to expand its space capabilities.

At the moment, a number of Chinese companies are conducting experiments to create reusable carriers. These include Landspace, Space Pioneer, Galactic Energy and iSpace. So far, they have been performing small-scale tests, but starting this year, Deep Blue Aerospace may attempt to return the first stage of its rocket from space.

You can also read the story of how a Chinese rocket destroyed an entire village.

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