Long March-9 Manned Lunar Booster
China's new super heavy-lift space rocket will be ready for piloted lunar landings around 2028, according to its developer. The new generation of heavy rocket Long March 9, also known as the 921 rocket, was initially planned to achieve its first flight around 2030. The Long March 9 (CZ-9) carrier vehicle, a Saturn V with Chinese characteristics under modern conditions, would be able to up to 50 tonnes of payload to the moon, or up to 44 tonnes to Mars, Liu Bing, one of its designers from the First Institute of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), said on the sidelines of the Zhuhai Airshow [13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition,] on 29 September 2021. “The rocket will be able to cover ranges by adjusting the number of boosters, depending on the destination,” Liu said.
From being assessed to the official launch of technical plans, the heavy-lift rocket project has gone through over 10 years of development, said Liu Bing, deputy chief designer of the designing department for the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, the developer of the rocket. According to him, the general plan of the project was still being further optimized. Heavy-duty launch vehicles are an important symbol of aerospace powers and the basis for large-scale space activities in the future.
The Long March 9 project was officially launched on June 7, 2016. A rocket product under the framework of manned space engineering, so it is also called "921 A new generation of manned heavy rockets". the “heavy-duty Carrier Rocket General Technology, "Large Thrust Liquid Oxygen Kerosene Engine Technology", "Large Thrust Liquid Hydrogen Liquid Oxygen Engine Technology" and "Large Diameter Rocket Structure Design, Manufacturing and Testing Technology" represented 12 major key technological breakthroughs.
In March 2021 according to "Central Broadcasting Network", Li Hong, deputy general manager of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation and rocket expert, said that the Long March 9 was expected to successfully fly into the sky within five years, or by 2026. As of 2017 its first flight date was scheduled for around 2028, but by 2020 this had slipped to 2030.
The number 9 is a number for highest nobility, often only the emperor can use number 9 (have 9 dragons stitched on his clothing and such). In feng shui, 9 is highest on the number scale and represents the ‘ultimate masculinity’. It was used to symbolize the supreme sovereignty of the emperor. The numeral 9 sounds just like jiu, which means “long lasting” and “eternity” in Chinese. At birthday and wedding celebrations, the number 9 is welcome as it represents longevity. 9 was also traditionally associated with the Chinese emperor. The emperor's robes had nine dragons on them, officials were organized in nine ranks, and the Forbidden City is known to have a total of 9,999 and a half rooms.
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