Long March 10
1:10 scale model of the Long March 10 at the National Museum of China
FunctionSuper heavy-lift launch vehicle
ManufacturerChina Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology
Country of origin People's Republic of China
Size
Height89–93.2 m (292–306 ft)
Diameter5.0 m (16.4 ft)
Mass2,187,000–2,189,000 kg (4,822,000–4,826,000 lb)
Stages3
Capacity
Payload to Low Earth orbit
Mass70,000 kg (150,000 lb)
Payload to Trans-lunar injection
Mass27,000 kg (60,000 lb)
Associated rockets
FamilyLong March (rocket family)
Comparable
Launch history
StatusIn development
Boosters
No. boosters2
Diameter5 m (16 ft)
Powered by7 YF-100K
Maximum thrustSea level: 8,750 kN (1,970,000 lbf)
Vacuum: 9,772 kN (2,197,000 lbf)
Total thrustSea level: 17,500 kN (3,900,000 lbf)
Vacuum: 19,544 kN (4,394,000 lbf)
Specific impulseSea level: 301.6 s (2.958 km/s)
Vacuum: 337 s (3.30 km/s)
PropellantRP-1 / LOX
First stage
Diameter5 m (16 ft)
Powered by7 YF-100K
Maximum thrustSea level: 8,750 kN (1,970,000 lbf)
Vacuum: 9,772 kN (2,197,000 lbf)
Specific impulseSea level: 301.6 s (2.958 km/s)
Vacuum: 337 s (3.30 km/s)
PropellantRP-1 / LOX
Second stage
Diameter5 m (16 ft)
Powered by2 YF-100M
Maximum thrust2,920 kN (660,000 lbf)
Specific impulse352.3 s (3.455 km/s)
PropellantRP-1 / LOX
Third stage
Diameter5 m (16 ft)
Powered by3 YF-75E
Maximum thrust276.3 kN (62,100 lbf)
Specific impulse451.1 s (4.424 km/s)
PropellantLH2 / LOX

Long March 10[1] (Chinese: 长征十号), also known as the “Next Generation crewed launch vehicle” (Chinese: 新一代载人运载火箭), and previously and unoffically as the “921 rocket” (Chinese: 921火箭) or the "Long March 5G" (a development of the Long March 5), is a Chinese super-heavy carrier rocket for crewed lunar missions that is currently under development. The nickname "921" refers to the founding date of China's human spaceflight program. In 2022, the first flight of the Long March 10 was targeted for 2027.[2] By January 2024, the first flight's target was moved up to 2025-26.[3]

The standard Long March 10 will be capable of lifting 70 tonnes into low Earth orbit (LEO) and 27 tonnes into trans-lunar injection trajectories.[4]

There are also plans for a variant, the Long March 10A,[5] which is designed primarily for future low Earth orbit crew and cargo transport to the Chinese Space Station. It will be partially reusable and capable of lifting at least 14 tonnes into LEO.[4]

Overview

The Long March 10 is a human-rated super heavy launch vehicle designed to launch China's next-generation crewed spacecraft and its future crewed lunar lander, as part of its manned space program, codenamed Project 921. Its notional debut was at the 12th China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in November 2018, where it was announced that the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT) is developing a vehicle with a lunar orbit capacity of up to 30 tons, meeting the requirements for crewed lunar exploration.[6] Documents and presentations in subsequent years depicted modified Long March 5 configurations known as CZ-5DY (pinyin abbreviation for 'Deng Yue' 登月 or lunar landing), CZ-5G, and CZ-5H.[2]

In February 2023, at the "30 Years of China's Manned Spaceflight" exhibition held at the National Museum of China, a model of the next-generation crew launch vehicle was labeled as "Long March 10." An article later published by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation also used the term "Long March 10" to refer to the rocket.[1][6]

Configuration

The standard variant of the vehicle consists of two boosters, first, second and third stage cores, escape tower, and fairing. The first-stage core and the two boosters each has a diameter of 5.0 meters and is equipped with 7 YF-100K engines (for a total of 21 operational engines at liftoff). The second-stage core has a diameter of 5.0 meters and is equipped with 2 YF-100M engines. The third-stage core has a diameter of 5.0 meters and is equipped with 3 YF-75E engines.[2][6][7] The vehicle's total length is approximately 90 meters, with a liftoff weight of 2,187 tons. The diameter of its core stage is the same as that of the Long March 5, but its height is about one-third taller.

The rocket has a payload capacity of 70 tonnes to low Earth orbit and at least 27 tonnes to a trans-lunar injection trajectory.[8] The proposed crewed lunar mission would use two Long March 10s; the crewed spacecraft and the lunar landing stack would launch separately and subsequently rendezvous in lunar orbit, prior to a crewed lunar landing attempt.[9] The development of the rocket along with relatively detailed specifications were announced at the 2020 China Space Conference.[8]

The Long March 10A is a single stick variant with only 2 stages; it has 7 YF-100K engines on the first stage and a single YF-100M engine on the second stage, This variant is designed for low Earth orbit crew and cargo flights; it is part of the Chinese space program's plan to increase lift capacity, explore reusability, and phase out hypergolic fuels for its carrier fleet. The 10A will have a capability to low Earth orbit of at least 14 tonnes when the first stage is recovered and at least 18 tonnes when used in a completely expendable arrangement;[4] it will use kerosene as fuel and liquid oxygen as the oxidizer. The rocket's first stage will have restartable engines and grid fins to enable reuse after stage recovery.[5] First stage landing and recovery will employ "tethered landing devices" in lieu of landing legs; this tethered system involves the deployment of "hooks" by the stage which would be caught by a tensioned wire system on the ground.[4]

Precursor design

An old proposal from 1992 for China's "project 921" envisioned the adoption of a modular design for a new generation of human-rated launch vehicles that would allow various payload combinations ranging from 11 tons to 70 tons to low Earth orbit. One such combination would have allowed China to pursue its own crewed lunar exploration program, including lunar orbit, circumlunar, and lunar landing missions. This proposal was not adopted.[10] However, elements of this old proposal appear to have survived in the current Long March 10 designs.

History

Proposal and development

A model of the next-generation crew launch vehicle displayed at the 2022 Zhuhai Airshow before it was named "Long March 10".
A model of the next-generation crew launch vehicle displayed at the 2022 Zhuhai Airshow before it was named "Long March 10".

See also

References

  1. ^ a b 汪淼 (2023-02-24). "我国新一代载人运载火箭命名为"长征十号",将用于登月任务" (in Simplified Chinese). IT之家. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  2. ^ a b c Jones, Andrew (11 November 2022). "China's huge new crew-launching moon rocket could fly for 1st time in 2027". Space.com. Retrieved 18 November 2022.
  3. ^ 【长征十号甲载人运载火箭预计2025 2026年首飞】长征七号甲运载火箭副总设计师徐利杰:下一代运货以及载人运载火箭已经正式立项了,预计2025~2026年实现飞行, retrieved 2024-01-21
  4. ^ a b c d Jones, Andrew (6 March 2022). "China wants its new rocket for astronaut launches to be reusable". Space.com. Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  5. ^ a b https://twitter.com/CNSpaceflight/status/1677895887153160193
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r 中国航天科技集团. "2030年前实现载人登月!速览火箭飞船研制进展". 微信公众号. Retrieved 2023-05-30.
  7. ^ Jones, Andrew (17 December 2021). "China's new rocket for crewed moon missions to launch around 2026". SpaceNews. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
  8. ^ a b Jones, Andrew (October 1, 2020). "China is building a new rocket to fly its astronauts on the Moon". SPACE.com.
  9. ^ Jones, Andrew (October 30, 2020). "China outlines architecture for future crewed moon landings". SpaceNews.
  10. ^ Wade, Mark (2019). "Project 921".
  11. ^ a b "新一代载人运载火箭三级发动机试验再获成功". 中新网. Archived from the original on 2022-08-24. Retrieved 2022-08-24.
  12. ^ 许诺; 付毅飞 (2022-07-28). "我国新一代载人火箭有重要进展!_试验_技术_并联". 搜狐 (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 2022-07-28. Retrieved 2022-07-28.
  13. ^ "我国新一代载人火箭二级发动机取得重大突破". 央视网 (in Chinese). 2022-10-27. Retrieved 2023-05-31.
  14. ^ 长十火箭栅格舵展开试验成功!
  15. ^ "神舟十六号载人飞行任务新闻发布会召开". 中国载人航天官方网站. Retrieved 2023-05-30.
  16. ^ "我国载人登月主动力发动机试车时长纪录,再刷新!". 北京日报 (in Chinese (China)). Retrieved 2023-06-17.