China is developing a reusable rocket, like SpaceX. What is she capable of?


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China is developing a reusable rocket, like SpaceX. What is she capable of?

Do you know that each launch of a space rocket costs aerospace companies at least $ 60 million? To reduce their cost, in 2013, SpaceX began to think about creating reusable rockets – at the moment, it has already established the reuse of the first stages and head fairings. By reusing fairings, the company is already saving $ 6 million each – not bad, right? Recently, a breakthrough in the creation of reusable missiles was also made by the private Chinese company Linkspace, lifting its RLV-T5 test apparatus to a height of 300 meters and successfully landing it on the ground.

Linkspace's main goal is to create the Newline-1 rocket with two stages, the first of which will be reusable. Judging by the description, the device will be very similar to the SpaceX launch vehicle Falcon 9. At least, the Chinese company intends to implement reusability in the same way as the company Ilona Mask. That is, after the separation of the steps at high altitude, the first will sink back to the ground and sit on a special platform.

Reusable rocket from China

When SpaceX created the first stage landing system, it tested it not on a finished rocket, but on a test one called Grasshopper. Linkspace, the Chinese company, also did not take any chances and in testing uses the RLV-T5 rocket with five engines running on ethanol and liquid oxygen. The height of the 1.5 kg prototype is 8.1 meters and the diameter is 65 centimeters. In the spring, the rocket was already taking off to a height of 20 and 40 meters, and now it was able to fly up to 300 meters, spend 50 seconds in the air and gently lower the launch pad.

The company does not intend to stop there – at the next launch, the RLV-T5 rocket will rise to a kilometer-high. If all goes well, further tests will use an improved prototype called the RLV-T6 with the ability to take off tens of kilometers above the ground. If this test is successful, the rocket may well try to make a suborbital flight at a 100-km altitude, on the conditional boundary between the Earth and space.

Read also: In Europe, a reusable launch vehicle similar to the Spacecon Falcon 9 is being developed

The first launch of a Chinese rocket

Ideally, the creation of the reusable Newline-1 launch vehicle should be completed in 2021. In the same year, the company wants to complete its first launch. It is expected that the Chinese rocket will be able to transport cargo weighing up to 200 kilograms into a 500-kilometer orbit. In fact, this is not a particularly impressive indicator, because the same Falcon 9 can put a load of 5500 kilograms into a 200-kilometer orbit. But it is worth considering that the height of the Newline-1 rocket may not exceed 8 meters, while the height of the Falcon 9 reaches 70 meters.

Appearance of the Newline-1 launch vehicle

The Chinese authorities are encouraging the development of the aerospace industry, so there are a lot of space rocket manufacturers in the country. For example, among them is Landspace, founded in 2015, which became the first private company to receive permission to launch space rockets in China. At the end of last year, she tried to launch a rocket called Zhuque-1, but an accident occurred during the flight.

Reusable rocket creates and Russia. Tests will begin in 2022

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