New component to bolster China's heavy-lift rocket
Workers inspect the 10-meter ring used in building heavy-lift rocket at Southwest Aluminum Co Ltd. [Photo provided by Southwest Aluminum Co Ltd]
The manufacturing of a new rocket component is expected to bolster China's capability in deep-space exploration.
The aluminum alloy ring of 10 meters in diameter, an essential part in production of heavy-lift rocket, has been developed by the Southwest Aluminum Co Ltd recently, Chongqing Daily reported on Sunday.
"In the world of aerospace industry, it is the first time that a 10-meter ring of aluminum alloy has been made," said Zhang Jilong, the president of the Southwest Aluminum.
The ring is an important component that links different parts of the fuel tank and the inter-tank sections of a rocket. Its making is deemed as a breakthrough in building the heavy-lift rocket.
"The heavy-lift rocket has a super large and thin wall, featuring low rigidity in structure and high shape precision, which has posed great challenges in the making of the ring piece," said Li Yong, the general manager of the Southwest Aluminum.
The news came as China announced its first generation of heavy-lift rocket, the Long March 5, will make its debut flight by end of the year. It will enable China to put its manned space station into orbit and send unmanned probes to Mars.
The Long March 5 is shown in this undated picture being tested at the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center in Hainan province.[Photo by Sun Hao/China Daily]
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