Next-gen Long March rockets to be developed by 2030: report

Updated 2017-10-12 10:33:54 Global Times

China is expected to develop a new generation of Long March carrier rockets by 2030, a rocket designer said on Tuesday.

By 2030, China will develop 12 types of new-generation Long March carrier rockets, Long Lehao, chief carrier rocket designer at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, said at a conference in the 2017 World Space Week on Tuesday, chinanews.com reported.

The new rockets will range from light to heavy types using both liquid and solid fuel, Long said.

"The current generation of the Long March series mainly consists of small and medium sizes of carrier rockets and the new generation will cover all types and have more technological advancement in terms of its engines and accessories," Song Zhongping, a military expert who used to serve the PLA Rocket Force, told the Global Times.

The current series of Long March rockets has undergone four generations and 17 types, with 12 of them in service and another two under development, the report said.

The rockets have been launched 252 times and have sent 344 spacecraft into orbit, Long explained, adding that the Long March's precision, launch rate and carrier capacity are advanced.

Carrier rockets are expected to carry heavier payloads at a lower cost, Song said, and that the new-generation homemade carrier rockets would make the transition from micro-rockets to heavy rockets, which could attract a broader global market.

China has been developing reusable carrier rocket technologies and is experimenting with vertical landing and parachute landing to reduce costs, China Central Television reported in July.

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