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