China Planning to Launch Long March-5B Rocket Next Year

[Image: Pixabay]

China is planning to conduct the first launch of its Long March-5B carrier rocket in 2019.

A spokesperson for the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO) revealed that the carrier rocket will undergo testing this month in preparation for its launch next year. The rocket will carry the core module and experiment modules to China’s space station.

According to the Xinhua News, Chinese space agency is also planning to select the third batch of astronauts for its manned space exploration mission. The selection of pilots and maintenance engineers will start in the first half of 2018.

CMSEO also wants to join hands with the United Nations for Outer Space Affairs and offer opportunities on the application of the Chinese space station. According to CMSEO spokesperson, the Office is exploring opportunities to cooperate with the European Space Agency on module development of the Chinese space station.

Long March-5 Rocket

Designed by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), Long March-5 is presently China’s strongest carrier rocket. It has a payload capacity of 14 tonnes to geostationary transfer orbit and 25 tonnes to low Earth orbit. The rocket weighs 860 tonnes, has a diameter of 5 meters, and is 53 meters tall. It is comparable to the most powerful active rockets in the world such as the Atlas V, Delta-IV Heavy, and Ariane. The rocket has been designed to allow China to send its deep space missions in coming years, including an independent interplanetary Mars mission in 2020s. In its Mar mission, the Chinese space agency is planning to send an orbiter, a lander, and a rover to the Red Planet.

China is planning to conduct the first launch of its Long March-5B carrier rocket in 2019.

A spokesperson for the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO) revealed that the carrier rocket will undergo testing this month in preparation for its launch next year. The rocket will carry the core module and experiment modules to China’s space station.

According to the Xinhua News, Chinese space agency is also planning to select the third batch of astronauts for its manned space exploration mission. The selection of pilots and maintenance engineers will start in the first half of 2018.

CMSEO also wants to join hands with the United Nations for Outer Space Affairs and offer opportunities on the application of the Chinese space station. According to CMSEO spokesperson, the Office is exploring opportunities to cooperate with the European Space Agency on module development of the Chinese space station.

Long March-5 Rocket

Designed by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), Long March-5 (LM-5, CZ-5, or Changzheng 5) is presently China’s strongest carrier rocket. The first launch of Long March 5 rocket was carried out in November 2016 from Wenchang launch center on Hainan Island. The rocket carried with it experimental satellite Shijian-17 that was designed to test electric-propulsion technology.

The second launch of the rocket was carried out in July 2017. This launch experienced an anomaly in the first stage and the launch was switched to an alternate gentler trajectory. However, the mission was declared a failure 45 minutes after launch.

Long March-5 rocket can carry a payload of 15.4 tons (14 metric tons) to geostationary transfer orbit and 27.6 tons (25 metric tons) to low Earth orbit. The rocket itself weighs 860 tonnes. It is 53 meters tall and has a diameter of 5 meters. Long March-5 is comparable to the most powerful active rockets in the world such as the Atlas V, Delta-IV Heavy, and Ariane. It has been designed to allow China to send its deep space missions in near future, including an independent interplanetary Mars mission in 2020s. In its Mar mission, Chinese space agency plans to send an orbiter, a lander, and a rover to the Red Planet.

The Long March 5 will also launch the big modules of China’s space station, which the country hopes to make operational by 2022.

The earlier Long March rockets were powered by toxic fuel like dinitrogen tetroxide, but the three new rockets (Long March 5, 6 and 7) use a more environmentally friendly kerosene/liquid oxygen combo.