Chang Zheng   CZ-8

 
 

China National Space Administration * China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT) * China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC)


       
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China is planning to develop the next-generation CZ-8 medium-lift carrier rocket and will conduct the first test flight by the end of 2018, Li Tongyu, the head of carrier rocket development at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology said.
The core-stage of CZ-8 will be based on CZ-7 and CZ-3A carrier rockets. The CZ-8 is expected to have two solid-propelled boosters with a diameter of 6.5 feet, the representative added.
"If everything goes well, its maiden flight will take place by the end of 2018," Li said, as quoted by the China Daily newspaper.
The rocket will be able to deliver a payload of about 4.5 metric tons to a sun-synchronous orbit, or 2.5 tons to geosynchronous transfer orbit, according to Li.
The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, the parent company of the the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, is the leading space launch vehicle manufacturer in China.
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China is developing a CZ-8 launch vehicle with a reusable first stage that could have its trial launch as early as 2020. The CZ-8 will adapt existing launcher designs for vertical takeoff, vertical landing (VTVL). The core of the CZ-8 is based on the existing CZ-7. The second stage will be based on the 3-meter-diameter liquid hydrogen-liquid oxygen second stage of the Long March 3A.
The rocket will also use two solid propellant boosters, likely based on the CZ-11. While the core, equipped with landing legs as well as grid fins for attitude control, could land following powered descent, the boosters are understood to use parachutes.