CHINA / National

China tests next-generation rocket engine
Updated: 2006-07-11 08:11

China has successfully test a rocket engine for the proposed new-generation carrier rocket to power future moon landings and manned space flights, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Tests of the liquid hydrogen- and kerosene-fueled engine were a "complete success", a spokesperson from the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation was quoted as saying.

With maximum propulsion of 120 tons, the new engine is three times more powerful than those currently used by China's Long March rockets.

The engine will propel a new-generation rocket able to sling heavy satellites and moon exploration equipment into orbit, experts told Xinhua.

All indices of the engine are in the normal range during the test-driving of a 120 ton liquid hydrogen and kerosene-fired engine,experts with the Aerospace Propulsion Academy of the corporation said.

The experts, who declined to be named, said the new rocket carrier will be non-toxic and pollution-free, and will be capable of putting heavy satellites and moon exploration devices into orbit.

In 2003, China became the third country -- after the United States and Soviet Union -- to launch a man into space aboard its own rocket. In October, it sent two men into orbit, and another manned orbit is slated for 2007.

A top official in China's space program said last month that China plans its first moonwalk for 2024.

The mission would kick off  next year, when China launches an unmanned lunar satellite in March or April to orbit and survey the lunar surface, according to earlier report.


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