China’s Pioneer Methane-Fired Rocket Fails to Reach Orbit

China's Pioneer Methane-Fired Rocket Fails to Reach Orbit
Written by admin

A drawing of the Zhuque-2 rocket.

A drawing of the Zhuque-2 rocket.
Illustration: land area

The Zhuque-2 rocket took off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert on Wednesday, leaving behind an unusual purplish trail that is a product of unique methane fuel. The rocket managed to fly, but failed to reach orbit and deliver the 14 satellites on board.

China’s private aerospace company, Landspace, hoped to pioneer the exploitation of methane. next generation rocket fuelLiquid hydrogen is considered cleaner and safer than kerosene and other propellants currently in use. In addition, liquid methane good choice In terms of rocket reusability, it’s an enviable talent for space companies.

Beijing-based Landspace launched Zhuque-2 at 3:30 ET on December 14, in what was supposed to be the rocket’s first orbital mission. After takeoff, the rocket’s second stage experienced an engine failure, causing the mission to fail, Landspace announced Wednesday. Outside observers had predicted the mission had failed before the company announced it.

Telemetry data shows the rocket accelerates to 11,000 miles per hour (5 kilometers per second) when it needs to reach around 17,500 miles per hour (7.8 kilometers per second) to maintain a stable orbit. According to Everyday Astronaut. The rocket was carrying a commercial payload of 14 satellites and all were lost (not sure why the company thought it was a good idea to launch so many satellites with an unproven rocket, but whatever).

Despite its failure, orbital test flight still lauded as an important milestone For China and the private space industry as a whole. chinese starter snake tried To launch a solid-fuel three-stage Zhuque-1 rocket in 2018. Zhuque-1 also failed to reach orbit, but the company is now preparing to switch to liquid methane as the propellant instead.

Had Landspace been successful in launching the rocket into orbit, the company could have beaten Elon Musk’s SpaceX in achieving this lauded goal. SpaceX also hopes to use liquid methane fuel to power it. next generation Starship rocketsthose who have not yet flown. The company’s Falcon 9 and Super Heavy rockets use kerosene for fuel.

Even before the first orbital test flight, Landspace was preparing for Zhuque-2’s second launch attempt, SpaceNews. reported. According to SpaceNews, the second and third models of the rocket are already in development, but Landspace is eventually aiming to make the rocket usable again.

China is making significant progress in the spaceflight industry on both the private and public fronts. In October, China launched the latest module is completing the ambitious project for its own space station in low Earth orbit to rival the International Space Station. There are also some in China Big plans for the monthIt’s arranging for future launches that could compete with NASA’s Artemis program.

Launching the first methane-fueled rocket into Earth orbit would certainly give China a huge advantage over other space programs. Of course, it all depends on how well the second launch attempt goes.

Sea: China Launches 3 Astronauts to Novice Space Station

About the author


Leave a Comment