Ignition test for latest rocket engine roaring success

China has conducted the first ignition test for the world's most powerful solid-propellant rocket engine, according to the Academy of Aerospace Solid Propulsion Technology in Xi'an, Shaanxi province.
The academy, a subsidiary of the State-owned space giant China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, announced on Tuesday afternoon that the test had been successfully made that morning.
With a diameter of 3.5 meters, the engine uses 150 metric tons of solid propellants to produce a thrust power of 500 metric tons, making it the world's most powerful and fuel-efficient integrated solid-propellant rocket engine, it said in a statement, noting that the test took place at an engine testing facility in Xi'an.
Wang Jianru, the engine's chief designer, said that the engine integrates a number of advanced technologies and high-performance composite materials and is of world-class capability.
"The test's success meant that we have achieved substantial progresses in improving the capability of our solid-propellant carrier rockets. It also laid the foundation for our research and development of a 1,000-ton-thrust engine," he said, noting that the new engines are necessary for China to build super-heavy rockets.
Researchers and engineers at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology in Beijing, another CASC subsidiary, are designing the Long March 9, a super-heavy carrier rocket that will likely become one of the world's largest and mightiest launch vehicles.
The super-heavy rocket is expected to enter service around 2030. It will stand 93 meters tall and will have a liftoff weight of 4,140 metric tons and a thrust power of 5,760 tons. The diameter of its core stage will be about 10 meters, according to designers at the academy.
The craft will be so powerful that it will be able to transport spacecraft with a combined weight of 140 tons to a low-Earth orbit hundreds of kilometers above the ground, and will be capable of deploying spaceships weighing up to 50 tons to an Earth-moon transfer trajectory for lunar expeditions.

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