Long March 5

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File:Long March 5 at Hainan.jpg
Long March 5 at Wenchang Satellite Launch Center located in Hainan island
File:Long March 5.jpg
Long March 5 under test

Long March 5 (LM-5, CZ-5, or Changzheng 5) is a Chinese next-generation heavy lift launch system that is currently under development by China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT). Currently, two CZ-5 vehicle configurations are planned for different missions, with a maximum payload capacity of 25,000 kilograms (55,000 lb) to LEO[1] and 14,000 kilograms (31,000 lb) to GTO.[2]

The Long March 5 is planned to roughly match the capabilities of American EELV sized vehicles such as the Atlas V.

First flight of the CZ-5 rocket is expected to be during 2016 from Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on Hainan island.[3][4]


"The Chinese government approved the development of the rocket in 2007 following two decades of feasibility study. It will be manufactured at a facility in Tianjin, a coastal city near Beijing."[1]

As of 2008, the first launch of the Long March 5 was projected to "most likely" happen in Wenchang of the southernmost island province of Hainan, "where a new satellite launch center is under construction."[1]


The Chief Designer for the CZ-5 rocket was Long Lehao. The main objective for the CZ-5 rocket was to fulfill China's requirement for large payload to LEO and GTO missions for the next 20–30 years. The CZ-5 project was initially announced in February 2001, with initial development slated to begin in 2002 and the first versions of the vehicle to go into service by 2008. However, funding was only finally granted in 2007 as revealed by the developers during the Northeast China exhibition.

On October 30, 2007, construction for the CZ-5 production plant began in the TEDA West area near the Binhai New Area in Tianjin city. Building a completely new production facility that is close to the harbor will solve logistical problems associated with over-land transport of the large-sized rocket to launching centers. Instead, the rockets will be transported by sea from Tianjin to a new launch facility at Wenchang on Hainan Island. The new production facility would have an area totaling more than half a million square meters at the cost of RMB 4500 million (USD 650 million), with the first stage of the construction scheduled to be completed by 2009. When the production facility is completed in 2012, it would be capable of a maximum output of thirty CZ-5s annually. As of July 2012, development of the 1,200 kN thrust LOX/kerosene engine was test fired.[2] [5] New photos of CZ-5 and of its tests were released in March 2015.[6]

CZ-5 carrier rocket was shipped from North China's Tianjin port at 20th September 2015 for a rehearsal (some drills carried out in a Wenchang Satellite Launch Center that involves both the carrier rocket and a probe) of a scheduled Chang'e-5 lunar mission planned around 2017.[7] Some experts think that the first test flight (which was scheduled for 2014) of CZ-5 rocket slipped well into 2015 or even later - it will happens during 2016.[8][9] The CZ-5B (max payload to LEO) variant will fly around 2018.[10]


The chief designer of CZ-5 is Mr. Li Dong of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT). The CZ-5 family will include three primary modular core stages of 5.2-m diameter (maximum). The total length is 60.5 metres and the weight at launch is 643 tons, with a thrust of 833.8 tons. Boosters of various capabilities with diameters ranging from 2.25 metres and 3.35 metres would be assembled from three modular core stages and strap-on stages. There would be a choice of engines with different liquid rocket propellants: 1,200 kN thrust LOX/kerosene engines or 500 kN thrust LOX/LH2 engines on first stage and boosters. The upper stage would use improved version of YF-75 engines.

Engine development began in 2000–2001, with testing directed by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) commencing in 2005. Versions of both new engines: YF-100 and YF-77 had been successfully tested by mid-2007.

The CZ-5 series will deliver 25 tonnes payload to LEO, or 14 tonnes payload to GTO (geosynchronous transfer orbit).[2] This would replace the CZ-2, CZ-3, and CZ-4 series in service, as well as providing new capabilities not possessed by current Long March rocket family. The heaviest configuration of the CZ-5 would consist of a 5.0-m diameter core stage and four 3.35-m diameter strap-on boosters, which would be able to send a 25 tonne payload to low earth orbit (LEO).


In development [11]

Version CZ-5A CZ-5B
Boosters 4xCZ-5-300, 2xYF-100 4xCZ-5-300, 2xYF-100
First stage CZ-5-500, 2xYF-77 CZ-5-500, 2xYF-77
Second stage -- CZ-5-HO, 2xYF-75D
Thrust (at ground) 1064 Mgf (10.64 MN)[citation needed] 1064 Mgf (10.64 MN)[citation needed]
Launch weight 869 t 837 t
Payload (LEO 200 km) 25 t[1] --
Payload (GTO) -- 14 t[2]


Version CZ-5-200 CZ-5-320 CZ-5-522 CZ-5-540
Boosters -- 2xCZ-5-200, YF-100 2xCZ-5-200, YF-100; 2xCZ-5-300, 2xYF-100 4xCZ-5-200, YF-100
First stage CZ-5-200, YF-100 CZ-5-300, 2xYF-100 CZ-5-500, 2xYF-77 CZ-5-500, 2xYF-77
Second stage CZ-YF-73, YF-73 CZ-5-KO, CZ-5-HO, 2xYF-75D CZ-5-HO, 2xYF-75D
Third stage (not used for LEO) -- CZ-5-HO, YF-75 -- --
Thrust (at ground) 134 Mgf (1.34 MN) 720 Mgf (7.2 MN) 824 Mgf (8.24 MN) 584 Mgf (5.84 MN)
Launch weight 82 t 420 t 630 t 470 t
Height (maximal) 33 m 55 m 58 m 53 m
Payload (LEO 200 km) 1.5 t 10 t 20 t 10 t
Payload (GTO) -- 6 t 11 t 6 t

Comparable Rockets

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Long March 5 Will Have World's Second Largest Carrying Capacity". Space Daily. 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2012-09-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Space.com staff (30 July 2012). "China Tests Powerful Rocket Engine for New Booster". Space.com. The more capable Long March 5 rocket is expected to help the country achieve its goal of constructing a space station in orbit by the year 2020, as well as play a key role in China's future space exploration aims beyond low-Earth orbit. The rocket's maiden launch is expected to occur in 2014<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Space.com staff (17 March 2015). "China Outlines New Rockets, Space Station and Moon Plans". Space.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. China’s Long March 5 Will Not Launch Until 2015
  5. Additional engine test-firings have taken place in July of 2013.Space.com staff (15 July 2013). "China Long March 5 Rocket Engine Test". Space.com. Chinese Rocket Engine Test a Big Step for Space Station Project<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. http://errymath.blogspot.com/2015/03/first-released-picture-of-long-march-5.html#.VgCfNN8qebk
  7. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-09/20/c_134642723.htm
  8. http://www.integratedspaceanalytics.org/cms/portal/long-march-5
  9. http://www.revolvy.com/main/index.php?s=Long%20March%205&uid=1575
  10. http://sinodefence.com/rocketry/changzheng-5/
  11. ... /manuscripts/IAC-14,D2,1,11,x20929.pdf
  12. http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Long_March_5_Will_Have_World_Second_Largest_Carrying_Capacity_999.html

External links