China tested a domestically developed solid rocket engine, with a thrust of more than 500 tons on Tuesday.
The test was conducted in Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, setting a world record in the field.
The Global Times learned from the Academy of Aerospace Solid Propulsion Technology (AASPT), which is affiliated with state-owned aerospace giant China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC), that the 3.5-meter-diameter solid engine's charge quantity reached 150 tons.
The successful test signals significant progress in China's solid carrier rocket technology and lays the foundation for the development of large-scale, heavy-lift launch vehicle technology. Such new technology would meet the demand of China's space program such as manned moon landings and deep space exploration, the academy revealed.
The development of the 500-ton thrust solid engine has entered the engineering application stage, while the landmark test opened up a key technology link for the development of China's 1,000-ton solid thrust engine.
The research and development of rocket engine technology has led the development of launch vehicles, with several steps along the way. The research and development of rocket engine technology has led the development of launch vehicles, with several steps along the way.
Researchers believe the new 500-ton thrust engine offers more options for large and heavy-lift carrier rockets.
Observers said that the running test of the powerful solid engine set a new high in the field, lifting China's large-scale solid rocket engine technology to world-leading levels, and will provide China's new solid carrier rockets with more powerful and cost-effective advanced power. It will also significantly enhance the competitiveness of solid rockets in the commercial space launch market.
Based on the single 500-ton-thrust solid engine, the academy has set out to research a 3.5-meter-diameter five-stage engine, which would provide a total thrust of more than 1,000 tons, which is expected to be applied in the boosters of large and heavy-lift engines.