RE: [DSL] 2008: China's new space odyssey
- China should spend that money on its home ground instead of silly
prestige projects mimicing what other nations did many decades ago.
How about spending that money on improving coal mines safety? China has
the worlds worst records in that respect. 3,000 miners have died this
year! 70% of China's power is coal...hence the heavy smog and pollution.
How about spending it on proper monitoring or relocating of
petrochemicals or hazardous chemicals near waterways?
Water is more overstretched per capita than in ANY other country in the
Enviromental disaster and loss of ariable land is being noted as China
industrialises with little concern for the future.
To be blunt China is NOT year a rich nation. In 50 years it is theorised
to be wealthy in American standards but at the moment I think it is
better looking at its own house than up at the stars.
This PRC media reeks of the same 'feel good' factor that is the mainstay
of the mainland stories. That Ming dynasty rocket chair sounds like a
half truth at best. Many bizzare inventions are ill defined and
interpreted from texts according to fancy.
Calling the new rockets 'the Long March' immediately leads me to realise
the link between reaching space anmd reaching other continents with
ICBMs (Note; capability, not the will to do so).
I am extremely sceptical of the PRC media as it is a tool of the
government and not an voice for Chinese or independent thought.
After the lack of disclosure on the Harbin incident and my other
impressions of announcements of archaeological findings I think the PRC
in more of a spin doctor than a real media.
i.e How much will these space prestige projects cost?
What is the benfit of retracing other nations steps beyond photographs
of astronauts and a big 'Hooray for China'?
[mailto:DragonSeedLegacy@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of kitmengleong
Sent: Monday, 28 November 2005 5:04 p.m.
Subject: [DSL] 2008: China's new space odyssey
2008: China's new space odyssey
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to feel the buzz in the air
First there was great anticipation around Christmas Eve "not for
Santa, but the British Beagle 2 lander scheduled to land on Mars on
December 25. However, it has not been heard of since.
Then last week's successful, path-breaking launch of a Sino-European
geospace prober into a preset orbit.
Finally, an American six-wheeled robot called Spirit landed on Mars on
Sunday, Beijing time, and began sending back pictures of Martian
And the still-palpable euphoria generated by China's first manned
space mission last year hardly needs mention.
After Yang Liwei's space exploits, the Chinese have set their sights
higher: lunar exploration, docking in orbit, a permanent manned
station, maybe even a Mars odyssey.
But the nation's feet-on-the-ground scientists have a
bring-down-to-earth caveat: Where are the launch vehicles to catapult
the dreams into reality"
Take a space station for example. China has been keen to blast off a
20-ton spacecraft, but the launch capacity of its Long March rockets
ranges from only 5.1 tons for geo-stationary transfer orbits to 9.5
tons for near-earth orbits.
The driving need for more powerful carrier rockets coupled with
mounting demand for highly-reliable, cost-effective and
environmentally-friendly vehicles has prompted China to embark on a
new "Long March'' in designing and developing a new generation of Long
Jiang Yixian, a leading official in charge of the new rocket project,
said this "march'' will speed up from this year as the country's
ambitious space programme unfolds.
Jiang is also a division vice-director of the China Aerospace Science
and Technology Corp (CASC), designer and manufacturer of spacecraft
and launch vehicles.
Upgrading China's launch rockets to meet the demand for spacecraft
launches was first listed as a high-tech priority in then-Premier Zhu
Rongji's report on the 10th Five-Year Plan (2001-05) delivered to the
National People's Congress "China's top legislature "in March 2001.
Since then, preliminary research and brainstorming have led to some
key technological breakthroughs, Jiang said.
"We hope that by 2008, the country will be able to use a much-more
powerful carrier rocket with non-toxic, non-pollution,
high-performance and low-cost qualities "to boost space exploration
and expand our share in the global commercial satellite launch
market,'' Jiang said.
The Chinese have a long aviation history: Wan Hu, living in the Ming
Dynasty (1368-1644) in China, was the first man believed to have made
a lift-off 500 years ago, by sitting on a flying chair powered with
two kites and 47 fire-arrow rockets "the precursor of modern space
Today, China has independently developed the Long March rocket group,
which contains 12 types of launch vehicles capable of launching
satellites into near-earth, geo-stationary and solar-synchronous orbits.
Ever since the country successfully launched its first man-made
satellite atop the Long March 1 rocket in April 1970, China has
continually renewed its record in lift-offs.
Last week, when the country sent the first Sino-European geospace
prober into a preset orbit, the Long March family had participated in
Seven of the launches failed, and over the past six years, the rockets
have been crowned with 33 consecutive triumphant launches, pushing the
success rate above the benchmark 90 per cent, according to Jiang.
To date, the Long March rockets have sent more than 50 home-made
satellites, 27 foreign satellites and five Shenzhou spaceships into
Given the impressive list of achievements, it is easy to get carried
away and believe that China in the front ranks of nations in space.
Scientists, however, concede that the Long March rockets will have to
close a substantial gap with foreign counterparts to match development
trends of space missions; and to strengthen its foothold in the global
For one thing, the launch capacity of the world's primary rockets
exceeds 20 tons for low-earth orbit and reaches 10 tons for
geo-stationary transfer orbits, leaving the Long March rockets well
Also, the probability of advanced launchers failing to inject their
payload into the specified orbit "due to failure or malfunction of any
component "does not exceed 0.05 (that is, minimum reliability of 0.95)
on average. The European Ariane V rocket even clocks in at 0.98 for an
For Chinese rockets, the reliability ratio stands at 0.97 even for
manned space flights, according to industry insiders.
"To keep up with the global level in terms of success rate, the
Chinese Long March rockets will have to lift off "successfully "for
another straight 33 times, not allowing for a single failure,'' Jiang
The major rockets of advanced spacefaring nations are characterized by
strong parameters and powerful engines using non-polluting fuels.
A larger diameter of a rocket means fewer stages, ignitions and
simplified mechanical structure. The reliability and safety of the
rocket will be further improved, according to experts.
As for China, a Long March rocket is usually 3.35 metres in diameter,
leaving virtually no room for further boosting its thrust without
attaching more small stages, according to Jiang.
The Long March rockets also use some toxic propellants in the
propulsion system, detrimental to both humans and the environment,
according to him.
With China determined to conduct space exploration as part of its
development strategy, the country has an "imperative'' need to catch
up with the global pace in launch-vehicle technology, Jiang said.
Improvement in carrier rockets will, in turn, provide robust
buttresses for the country's efforts including the establishment of
space stations and space-production bases, he said.
Fuelled by the successful maiden manned space flight last October,
preparations for the next step of China's manned space programme have
already begun "the country is working on breakthroughs in technology
related to space rendezvous and docking, space walks, space labs and
deep-space exploration, according to sources with the CASC.
Globally, commercial satellites will become larger and heavier, and by
2010, a satellite for a geo-stationary orbit is expected to weigh at
least 7 tons.
Another trend is to have one rocket propel multiple satellites
simultaneously into space in one mission, to form a cluster or small
China will also follow suit. For example, an earth-observation
satellite in the future may weigh more than 10 tons, so that it could
carry enough fuel and payload to provide long-term, high-resolution
As demand for satellites in the country soars, China is projected to
launch around 10 satellites a year during the 2006-10 period, compared
with an annual average of five launches between 2001 and 2005,
according to official sources.
The more frequent launches in the years to come mean China will have
to substantially shorten the time interval between launches.
In addition to improving infrastructure at launching sites, the
country will have to optimize the design of its rockets so that they
perform more functions in a given duration.
China's new generation of carrier rockets aim at the advanced world
level, and follow a design principle of ``generalization,
serialization and modularization,'' according to Jiang.
He specified the parameters for the design of a new generation of
launch vehicles as high reliability, low cost, non-polluting and easy
The new launchers will be built on a modularization design concept
based on three models of core stages "2.25 metres, 3.35 metres and 5
metres in diameter.
They will be powered by 120-ton liquid oxygen/kerosene engines and
50-ton liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen engines, which produce powerful
propulsion and cause no pollution.
By using a combination of such modules, a new family of rockets can be
assembled just like putting blocks together, to deliver satellites of
various weights into orbit, according to Liu Zhusheng, chief designer
of the rocket system of China's manned space flight programme.
The basic model of the rocket has a core stage which is 5 metres in
diameter, with four boosters attached outside: two of 3.35 metres and
the other two of 2.25 metres.
Upon completion, the new family of rockets will be able to cover a
launch range between 1.5 tons to 25 tons for near-earth orbits and
1.5-14 tons for geo-stationary transfer orbits, said Jiang of the CASC.
The launch cost of the new type of rockets is expected to be 30 per
cent lower than the current Long March rockets, he said.
In addition, the probability of the new rockets failing to inject
their payload into preset orbit will not exceed 0.02 (that is, minimum
reliability of 0.98) on average, and for manned missions, the
reliability ratio will be 0.99, he said.
The turnaround time between two launches of the Long March rockets
will be reduced from more than two months to 15 working days, he said.
``The new generation of the carrier rockets will enable China to
launch all kinds of satellites to be developed in the next 20 to 30
years,'' Jiang said. ``This will dramatically boost the competitive
edge of the Long March rockets in the world market.''
Asked about a timetable of such a launch vehicle, Jiang said CASC is
testing the rocket engines, and hopefully the new generation will take
off in 2008.
(China Daily 01/06/2004 page5)
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