China's LandSpace steps further to its liquid-propellant rockets

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/1/7 18:33:39

China's private rocket firm LandSpace has successfully conducted a test run for the TQ-12 liquid-propellant gas generator recently. Photo: Courtesy of LandSpace


China's private rocket firm LandSpace, seen by some as China's answer to SpaceX, has successfully conducted a test run of its self-developed gas generator recently, according to a statement sent to the Global Times on Monday.

The test run for the TQ-12 liquid-propellant gas generator last week was a success using 80 tons of liquefied methane as the propellant, the statement said.

The gas-generator cycle is a power cycle of a bi-propellant rocket engine. The high-temperature gas it produced is to propel the rocket skyward.

Roger Zhang Changwu, CEO of Beijing-based LandSpace, said that the company will embrace results of the integrated test of gas generator and turbine pump, as well as perform a test run of the whole system for the 80-ton engine filled with liquefied methane this year.

"The production base in Huzhou will accelerate the pace of research and development (R&D) for the liquid-propellant engine and rocket," Zhang noted.

The production base, located in Huzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province, was opened on December 12 after inspection. The facility, with an area of nearly 120 mu (8 hectares), is the largest private rocket base in Asia to date.

The company's TQ-12 rocket engine and the ZQ 2 liquid-propellant carrier rocket will start production at the base in 2019. The ZQ 2, to be powered by the TQ-12, is scheduled to be launched in 2020.

In October, LandSpace launched its first rocket, named ZQ-1, carrying a small satellite for State broadcaster China Media Group at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, Northwest China's Gansu Province. The rocket's first and second stages worked well but an abnormality occurred during the third stage, and the cargo failed to reach its target orbit.


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