China Tests New Hydrogen Moon Rocket

China Tests New Hydrogen Moon Rocket

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China reportedly test-fired its Long March-10 hydrogen-oxygen rocket successfully. The test was conducted on July 29th, 2023, and is a critical step for the nation’s journey to reach the Moon by 2030. It will be able to conduct missions to transport both astronauts and cargo to the space station without a booster configuration.

According to Interesting Engineering, the rocket is powered by a combination of liquid hydrogen and oxygen to provide a thrust of around 130 tons. The lift platform will incorporate about 21 of these rockets which should provide an additional 210 tons of thrust with fewer rockets.

The rocket measures about 92 meters in length and weighs around 2,187 tons during takeoff. It uses liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen, and kerosene as propellants, generates a takeoff thrust of roughly 2,678 tons, and has a carrying capacity of at least 27 tons for the Earth-Moon transfer orbit.

Zhou Xianqi, a researcher from the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) said in an interview with Global Times that the engine has met all the requirements, and added that they had tested the engine’s startup, shutdown, and stability under high and low conditions.

Xianqi claims that a variety of new materials, processes, and technologies have allegedly been developed throughout the rocket’s development process. He further stated that in the second half of the year, they will conduct several high-altitude simulation tests to determine the relevant performance and parameters of the engine.

Nevertheless, for China to meet this 2030 timescale, the Long March-10 rocket will first need to complete its first flight, currently scheduled for 2027. The carrier rocket’s engine, core module, and other technical structures have undergone upgrades and have already undergone thorough testing too, making them near prepared for an attempted mission to the Moon.