CASC Chairman Mr. Lei Fanpei: The success maiden flight of Long March 5 is an important milestone for China to build its Major Space Power. The current page: Home -> News

2016 is the 60th anniversary of China Aerospace Industry and is a busy year for CASC. In this year, CASC performed maiden flight of Long March 7 and Shezhou-11 docking with Tiangong-2 Spacelab, established Mars Exploration Plan, and entered Chang’e-5 Lunar probe critical development stage. On November 3, China’s biggest launch vehicle, Long March 5 launched successfully, which established an important milestone in building China Major Space Power, and pushed forward China Space Industry to a new standard and starting point.

Mr. Lei Fanpei said: "The payload capability of Long March 5 is 25 tons for low Earth orbit (LEO), and 14 tons for Geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), this is more than 2.5 times capacity than the existing Long March launchers. Long March 5 will significant increase China's capability in access to space and fulfill the need of space transportation in the next decades."

"The Long March 5 is also a landmark of China's new generation launch vehicles."Mr. Lei said. Long March 5 is a heavy, cryogenic liquid launch vehicle with 5m diameter in the core structure. Following the design principal of generalization, serialization and modularization, the Long March 5 uses non-toxic and non-polluting propellants such as liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen and kerosene, etc. Long March 5 applies 247 new core technologies; new technologies utilized percentage is nearly 100%. This also drives the development of other new launch vehicles such as Long March 6 and 7.

"In 2017, China will send lunar probe Chang'e 5 to land on the moon and return with lunar samples; around 2018, China will launch the core module of China Spacelab; and in 2020, China will initiate Mars Exploration mission… all these missions will be launched by Long March 5." Mr. Lei emphasized.

After the success launch of Long March 5, the next members in Long March series will be Long March 8 and Long March Heavy. Mr. Lei expressed that China will keep increasing the investment in launch vehicle development. In the future, Long March family will add new commercial launchers. Heavy launch vehicle with over hundred ton capability is now in the critical development stage.

Mr. Lei said, "Our target is to complete the new generation launch vehicle system, perform maiden flight of Long March 8, and breakthrough the key technology in heavy launch vehicle by 2020."

According to the plan, heavy launcher will have 10m diameter and approximately 100m length, and it will have 5 times launch capacity as the current launcher, and will have more launch capacity than SLS. The heavy launcher will fulfill Human Moon Exploration, Mars Sample Return, Solar system planet exploration and many other deep space exploration missions.

With the new launchers, China's series of major space blueprint become more and more clear. In 2020, China will complete its own space station, and if ISS retire in 2024, China may become the only country with a space station; in deep space exploration, apart from Chang'e 5 mission in 2017 and Mars exploration in 2020, China will also launch Chang'e 4 in 2018, and if it is successful, Chang'e 4 will be the first probe to land on the Moon's far side; in navigation, China's Beidou system will complete global coverage around 2020.

"Although China Aerospace has made a series of brilliant achievements, but we still have a certain gap compare with the other major space power. We feel the pressure, but will also keep our faith. Our goal is to become Major Space Power in 2025." said Mr. Lei.
(source: China Space News, translated by CGWIC)