China tested a solid fuel rocket

China tested a solid fuel rocket

China has tested a new rocket engine powered by solid fuel. The new engine was developed by the Academy of Aerospace Solid Propulsion Technology (AASPT) which belongs to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the country's leading space contractor.

The engine has a diameter of 3 , 5 meters and a maximum thrust of 500 tons, fed 150 tons of solid fuel. A CASC statement said it is the most powerful solid fuel rocket engine in the world so far. The engine according to CASC has also demonstrated multiple cutting-edge technologies, including a high-performance fiber composite shell, an integral cast combustion chamber and an oversized nozzle, to make it a highly advanced rocket engine.

space missions such as manned moon landings and deep space exploration. China is already developing the Long March 9 and another large rocket to launch astronauts for manned lunar missions, none of which include solid boosters.

credits: CASC China has made great progress on rockets a solid propellant in recent years, including the successful development and launch of the Long March 11, which can be launched from land or sea. AASPT also tested a solid (3.2m) diameter engine in December 2020.

However the new engine is much larger and could be added to launch vehicles to produce extra thrust. It could also be used by the commercial spin-off CASC China Rocket, which develops Jielong solid rockets for launching commercial satellites. China is also planning to launch its first rocket that combines liquid-fueled core stages with solid side boosters. Long March 6A could be launched before the end of the year.

This comes at a time when many countries and companies, including China itself, are developing reusable liquid-fueled rockets. After the first stages have done their work, the engines for these new launchers are able to re-ignite to drive the first stage to a landing area and burn once again to make a motorized descent and vertical landing. In this way the rockets can be recovered and reused, reducing launch costs.

Solid rockets however cannot be controlled in the same way and, once ignited, they burn until all the propellant is used up. . However, they are simpler than liquid rockets and offer their own cost and production advantages.

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