Tag: ChinaPage 2 of 21

Guess Who Else is Developing a LOX Methane Engine

Comments

CASC
CASC — the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation — reports it has reached a milestone in its development of a new LOX methane rocket engine.

“Recently, a new generation of methane liquid oxygen rocket engine ignition system-wide test to be successful for the first time, signifying that our LOX methane engine development has reached the international advanced level,” according to a story by China Space News published on the CASC website.

The story (in Chinese) is here. You’ll have to open the page in Google Chrome (which has built-in translation) or run it through a translator.

SpaceX is developing a LOX methane engine that will be used as an upper stage for its Falcon rockets. The engine will be tested at the NASA Michoud facility in Mississippi.

Continue reading ‘Guess Who Else is Developing a LOX Methane Engine’

Will China Surpass the U.S. in Space by 2020?

12 Comments
The crew of Shenzhou-10 after 15 days in space. (Credit: CNSA)

The crew of Shenzhou-10 after 15 days in space. (Credit: CNSA)

Today marks the 10th anniversary of China’s first manned spaceflight, an occasion that has resulted in some soul searching over the Middle Kingdom’s significant progress in space and whether it is poised to take the lead from the United States in the decade ahead. The anniversary comes as NASA is all but shutdown due to a budget impasse in Washington.

Former NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao, just back from the International Astronautic Congress in Beijing, sees a perfect storm brewing between China’s ascent and budget restrictions on America’s space program.Writing in Space.com, Chiao sketched out a scenario where China surpasses the U.S. in space in about seven years.

Continue reading ‘Will China Surpass the U.S. in Space by 2020?’

Chinese Engineers Propose Super Heavy Booster

Comments

long_march_launch
Although no formal program has been approved, Chinese engineers are eying super heavy boosters designed to send taikonauts to the moon and beyond:

Chinese engineers are proposing a Moon rocket more powerful than the Saturn V of the Apollo missions and matching the payload of NASA’s planned Space Launch System (SLS) Block 2, the unfunded launcher that would put the U.S. back into super-heavy space lift.

Continue reading ‘Chinese Engineers Propose Super Heavy Booster’

China Launches New Rocket Aimed at Operationally Responsive Space Capabilities

Comments

china_flagGregory Kulacki at the Union of Concerned Scientists notes the successful flight of a new launch vehicle by China’s military forces and discusses its strategic significant:

On 25 September 2013 China launched another earth observation satellite into orbit. The spacecraft, identified in Chinese press reports as the Kuaizhou 1, is a small earth observation satellite that will be used for disaster management and will be operated by China’s National Remote Sensing Center. But the launch had a second purpose: to test a new solid-fueled launch vehicle the Chinese military plans to use to provide a rapid ability to replace Chinese satellites that might be damaged or destroyed by an enemy attack.

Continue reading ‘China Launches New Rocket Aimed at Operationally Responsive Space Capabilities’

China to Hold Long March Pricing Steady

Comments

long_march_launch
Space News
reports on pricing for the Long March, a family of boosters that has racked up an impressive series of launch successes:

The company selling Chinese Long March rockets on the commercial market said Sept. 24 that it is maintaining prices for telecommunications satellite missions at about $70 million, a price it says is backed by a 96 percent success record over 181 flights as of Sept. 23.

In a series of presentations here, officials from Chinese government agencies and China Great Wall Industry Corp. (CGWIC), the company that markets the Long March vehicle, said the Long March rocket has established itself with domestic and export demand despite the 15-year ban on U.S.-built satellite launches aboard Chinese rockets.

Until Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif., arrived on the scene with advertised launch prices that bested even those of the Chinese, the Long March was considered the low-cost option among providers of rockets carrying satellites to geostationary transfer orbit, where most communications satellites are dropped off in orbit.

CGWIC officials point out that SpaceX has yet to prove its ability to maintain its prices — between $58 million and around $65 million for commercial customers — as it inaugurates its Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket and ramps up production to meet the company’s large commercial backlog.

Read the full story.

China Opens Up Space Program to Foreign Astronauts

Comments
The crew of Shenzhou-10 after 15 days in space. (Credit: CNSA)

The crew of Shenzhou-10 after 15 days in space. (Credit: CNSA)

China is opening up its human spaceflight program to foreign astronauts:

 

We would like to train astronauts from other countries and organizations that have such a demand, and we would be glad to provide trips to foreign astronauts,” said Yang Liwei, deputy director of China Manned Space Agency. We will also welcome foreign astronauts who have received our training to work in our future space station.”

 

Continue reading ‘China Opens Up Space Program to Foreign Astronauts’

A Closer Look at Chinese Launch Activities in 2012

Comments

long_march_launch
China was in second place in 2012 in terms of both launches (19) and payloads orbited (30). That record put it just behind Russia and ahead of the United States. One of those launches involved a three-person crew sent to the Tiangong-1 space station.

The following look at Chinese launch activities is excerpted from the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation’s new report, “The Annual Compendium of Commercial Space Transportation: 2012.” The excerpt includes a summary of 2012 launch activities, closer looks at the Long March 2 and 3 rockets, and a summary of the Long March 5, 6 and 7 launch vehicles now under development.

Continue reading ‘A Closer Look at Chinese Launch Activities in 2012′

China Surpassed U.S. in Launches, Payloads in 2012

Comments

long_march_launch
By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

China’s surging space program moved into second place in 2012 in terms of both orbital launches and payloads, passing the United States and inching closer to Russia.

China successfully launched 19 rockets last year, placing a total of 30 payloads into orbit, according to an annual report released by the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST). Russia led all nations with 34 payloads on 24 launches, while the United States came in third with 28 payloads on 13 launches.
Continue reading ‘China Surpassed U.S. in Launches, Payloads in 2012′

China: U.S. Satellite Export Reform Doesn’t Go Far Enough

Comments
long_march_launch

Chinese Long March rocket.

The decision to relax controls on the export of U.S. satellites isn’t going over well in China, which remains on a list of nations to which these spacecraft cannot be exported, re-exported or transferred. Those restrictions ban China’s launch industry from placing U.S.-built satellites into orbit.

In remarks posted on the Ministry of Commerce website, Spokesman Shen Danyang “pointed out that the US once expressed that its reform of export control system would benefit China and promised to promote export of high-tech products to China for civil use. However, the US always exclude China from the benefited parties in its export control reform, and adopted measures to continue to restrict China-US cooperation on civil satellite field. China is deeply disappointed and dissatisfied with this result.

“Mr. Shen said that China hopes the US can practically fulfill its promise, change the discriminatory conducts against China, and pay attention to and address China’s concerns and materially relax export control against China in its export control reform. It will be conducive to expanding China-US bilateral trade and promoting trade balance between the two countries, which accords with the common interests of the two sides.”

GLXP Update: Chinese Moon Success Would Reduce Prize Money

Comments

a full moon rises over Half Moon Bay in California on Halloween 2009. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

Attention, Google Lunar X Prize competitors! China is looking to take $5 million out of one of your pockets. And they may not be anything you can do about it.

China has announced definitive plans to launch its Chang’e-3 lunar mission during the second half of 2013. The mission includes a lander as well as a six-wheeled rover that will explore the lunar surface.

If the mission is successful, then the first prize in the  Google-sponsored private moon race will decrease from $20 million to $15 million. There are also a $5 million second prize and several bonus prizes for achievements on the lunar surface.

Given what is currently known about the GLXP competitors, it seems unlikely that any team is in a position to beat the well-funded Chinese program to the moon by the end of next year.

Teams have until the end of 2015 to claim the prize before the competition turns into a pumpkin.