2014 maiden launch for Long March-7 rocket

Updated: 2013-03-01 13:28


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BEIJING - China's indigenous carrier rocket Long March-7 will hopefully make its first launch in 2014, a senior official of the rocket's designing institute said on Friday.

Liang Xiaohong, Party chief of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, made the remarks during an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

Researchers of the rocket have made key technological breakthroughs, including in the design and production of a staged combustion cycle liquid oxygen and kerosene engine, which can produce a thrust of 180 kilonewtons, he said.

For the carrier rocket Long March-5, which will hopefully make its debut launch within three years, researchers have grasped key technologies for production and testing of most of the rocket structure's parts, including its 5.2-meter-diameter cowl and five-meter-diameter compartment.

They are striving for breakthroughs in technologies associated with the five-meter-diameter cryogenic propellant tank that stores liquid hydrogen fuels for the Long March-5, according to Liang.

Both the Long March-7 and the Long March-5 are expected to rank among the backbone carrier rockets for China's future space missions.