China’s new huge solid rocket booster completes test

BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) — China announced Tuesday that the country’s new solid rocket booster, with 200-tonne thrust engine, completed hot firing tests, proving its readiness for commercial launches.

With a diameter of 2.65 meters, the booster engine is expected to be used on the modified version of the Long March-11 rocket. The rocket is the only series in the Long March family that uses solid propellants, and it can be launched within 24 hours.

Developed by the Academy of Aerospace Solid Propulsion Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, it will be China’s most powerful rocket booster engine, delivering a maximum thrust of 200 tonnes and the ability to carry as much as 71 tonnes of fuel.

It will have a carrying capacity of 1.5 tonnes for sun-synchronous orbit.

In 2009, the academy took the lead in China in developing a rocket booster engine for the Long March-11. The previous-generation, covered with a steel shell, was 2 meters in diameter, capable of 120 tonnes of thrust and could carry 35 tonnes of fuel.

To increase its carrying capacity and market competitiveness, the new booster is made using filament winding composite material, which is better and can be applied more widely than a metal shell, said Wang Jianru, chief designer of the booster.

The successful tests mark a milestone in developing a more efficient booster engine with cost advantage for China’s new-generation rocket, according to the design team.

China’s first seaborne rocket launch is scheduled for mid-2019, with a Long March-11 carrier rocket set to blast off in the Yellow Sea.

Source: Xinhua

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