Maiden Flight of China’s Reusable Space Carrier Vehicle by 2020


China’s reusable space carrier vehicle is expected to conduct maiden flight in 2020 according to mil.huanqiu.com’s report “Our country developing reusable space carrier vehicle, which is expected to conduct maiden flight by 2020” on October 31.

US space exploration technology company SpaceX has succeeded in recovering the first stage of its space carrier vehicle Falcon 9 . That is a great stride in reducing cost of space travel. Moreover, it is making efforts to reduce space travel cost by 80% through further development.

No. 1 Institute of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) has been cooperating with other prestigious Chinese institutions in developing reusable space carrier vehicles in order to reduce space travel cost by 90%.

Different from Falcon 9, the first and second stages of the carrier vehicle can be recovered and the vehicle takes off horizontally like an aircraft while the recovered first and second stages land also horizontally but separately on an airstrip.

Falcon 9 takes off vertically the same as a rocket and lands vertically. China’s is a part of the development of space plane that takes off horizontally, flies to the space and then flies back and lands horizontally. According to Popular Science, China plans to conduct maiden flight of such space plane by 2030. (See my post “China’s Manned Hypersonic Spaceplanes Much Better than US Unmanned One” on June 22.)

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on mil.huanqiu.com’s report, full text of which in Chinese can be viewed at http://mil.huanqiu.com/aerospace/2017-10/11343152.html.

Advertisements

China’s Manned Hypersonic Spaceplanes Much Better than US Unmanned One


SR-72
With recent technological breakthroughs, Lockheed Martin hopes to fly the Mach 6 SR-72 unmanned hypersonic aircraft by 2030.
Lockheed Martin

XS-1
The “Phantom Express” XS-1 is a DSTO space-launch vehicle, consisting of a rocket-powered launch plane and a second-stage rocket that will separate from the plane to launch 1.5 tons into low-earth orbit.
Boeing

China’s TENG YUN manned spaceplane:
The Teng Yun, which CASIC intends to deliver by 2030, uses a TRCC-engined hypersonic carrier aircraft to carry the second rocket-powered stage into near space. Both stages will be reusable; the hypersonic carrier airframe could also be used to hypersonic strike and reconnaissance roles.
WeChat

CHINESE HYPERSONIC SPACEPLANE
The Chinese hypersonic spaceplane, with a combined cycle engine that hops between jet, scramjets, and rockets, promises to be the ultimate form in reusable and easy space travel. In theory, it could cross the Pacific Ocean in one hour. China hopes to have these fast birds in the sky (with people onboard!) by 2030.
CCTV 13

Popular Science publishes Jeffrey Lin and P.W. Singer’s June-17 article titled “American and Chinese aircraft could be flying 4,000 miles per hour by 2030: How China and the United States compare in the hypersonic arms race”

The following comparison shows that China’s are developed by state-owned enterprises with abundant government financial support due to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s strategy on the development of integrated space and air capabilities for both attack and defense. Therefore, China’s are larger, manned and faster than America’s. US models are small and unmanned. As they have not yet been funded by US government, developers will not make great investment for fear of incurring heavy losses if they fail to receive orders for their planned products.

America’s:

Lockheed Martin’s SR-72 Scramjet Hypersonic airplane
Turbine rocket combined cycle (TRCC) engine
Not a spaceplane
Speed: Mach 6
Altitudes: 18 and 62 miles
unmanned
test flight by 2030

Boeing’s XS-1 DARPA Phantom Express
Duel-state-to-orbit (DSTO) two-stage spaceplane
Stage one:
hypersonic plane powered by liquid fueled rockets. Once the XS-1 is in near space Altitude: 18- to 62-mile, stage two leaves stage one to go to space.
Stage two (to replace satellite):
Low-earth orbit
Weight: 1.5 ton

Chinese
CASIC (the Chinese Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation)’s Teng Yun
DSTO two-stage spaceplane
First stage
TRCC engine
Speed: hypersonic
Altitude: near-space
Payload: 10-15 tons
Manned
For fast, global reconnaissance and strike
Second stage:
Manned or as launch rocket
Send five taikonauts or 2 ton cargo to Chinese space station.
To be delivered by 2030
Funds: $16 billion

CASC (Chinese Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation)’s spaceplane
A true spaceplane that can depart from and reenter orbit on multiple occasions during the same flight, traveling at greater speed compared to a near-space-only hypersonic aircraft such as SR-72.
SSTO (single-stage-to-orbit), a true spaceplane with only one stage
TRRE (The turbo-aided rocket-augmented ram/scramjet engine) paving the way for hypersonic near space planes and single-stage space launchers. The engine is to be developed by Beijing Power Machinery Research Institute to fly in 2025.
Manned for space travel
To fly with people on board by 2030

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Popular Science’s article, full text of which can be viewed at http://www.popsci.com/hypersonic-arms-race-china-united-states#page-5


China’s New Heavy Reconnaissance-strike Drone Better than US Predator


 Rainbow 5 is the latest in a series of unmanned aerial vehicles developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. Photo: Sina News

The Rainbow 5 is the latest in a series of unmanned aerial vehicles developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. Photo: Sina News

Select guests get a close-up look at the Rainbow 5 military drone. Photo: CNTV

Select guests get a close-up look at the Rainbow 5 military drone. Photo: CNTV

China's new drone has a take-off weight of more than three tonnes and a wingspan similar to that of the United States’ Reaper drone (above). Photo: AP

China’s new drone has a take-off weight of more than three tonnes and a wingspan similar to that of the United States’ Reaper drone (above). Photo: AP

China's flagship Rainbow 5 military drone is capable of performing missions without ground support. Photo: Sina.com

China’s flagship Rainbow 5 military drone is capable of performing missions without ground support. Photo: Sina.com

In its report titled “Built to kill: China unveils its latest heavyweight contender in military drone race” on the successful maiden flight of China’s new Caihong-5 (CH-5 or Rainbow-5) drone, SCMP quotes the drone’s designer as saying, “The unmanned Rainbow 5, with a wall-penetrating radar, is a game-changer in China’s airstrike missions.”

The radar enables the drone to identify terrorists hiding in a bush or building and attack them.

The US uses such radar earlier than China, but SCMP says, “But another Rainbow 5 designer, Lan Wenbo, said the new Chinese drone was equipped with more advanced technology that better equipped it for future warfare.”

According China’s Oriental Satellite TV’s footage in Chinese that displayed by SCMP in the report, CH-5 is a medium- and low-altitude long-duration drone with a takeoff weight of 3 tons, wingspan of 20 meters and ability to remain in air for 30 hours. Only the largest US Predator drone is comparable to CH-5 in size, weight and flight duration. CH-5 is entirely made of synthetic materials and able to carry 900 kg load.

Ou Zhongming, chief commander of drone series in Research Institute 11 of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), says on TV screen, “According to our standards, the maiden flight should be regarded as an entire success.”

Lan Wenbo, Director of the Totality Office of the Institute, says on screen, “It is able to increase its scope of reconnaissance from 20-30 to 80 km and to discover and attack a target from a longer distance away so as to keep itself farther away from the source of danger.”

SCMP says the drone can carry 6 missiles.

Full text of SCMP’s report with the Oriental Satellite TV’s footage can be viewed at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/1853872/built-kill-china-unveils-its-most-powerful-military

Source: SCMP “Built to kill: China unveils its latest heavyweight contender in military drone race” (summary by Chan Kai Yee of the TV footage in Chinese)