China to launch new solid-fuel rocket
PLA Daily 2004-01-30
BEIJING, Jan 29 (Xinhuanet) -- China plans to launch a new generation of rockets later this year. The small satellite launch vehicle, Explorer I, will use solid fuel to carry a scientific experimental satellite into space. The new breed of rocket is needed to complement the Long March group, the country's large-scale liquid-fuel space launchers.
Explorer I has been designed to take small and micro satellites into space. The solid-fuel rocket will be able to carry loads weighing less than 100 kilograms.
Yang Shucheng, chief commander of Explorer I Project, said, "The solid fuel space launcher will help us view disaster areas as soon as possible -- emergencies like fire, floods, and earthquakes."
The United States, Russia, Japan and India have already developed their own solid fuel boosters, with the US and Russia leading the field. The European Space Agency is also preparing for the creation of the solid fuel boosters.
Another chief engineer of Explorer I Project said, "Solid propellant orbital launch vehicles have been developed for a long time. This is just a beginning for China, but some of our techniques, such as control and high-speed movement, have reached an advanced level."
The relative safety, low cost and high thrust of solid-fuel rockets make them an important factor in the commercialization of the space industry.
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