BEIJING, Dec. 25 (ChinaMil) -- The ignition of China's ultra-large diameter solid rocket motor will take place in February of 2018, more exactly, during the upcoming Spring Festival holiday to test key technologies. A full-scale verification test will be held in the second quarter of 2018.
This solid rocket motor, developed by the No.4 Research Institute of China Aerospace Science & Industry Corp. , has a diameter exceeding four meters, creating a new world record by a large margin. The previous record, held by America, was 3.7 meters.
Liang Jiqiu, chief designer of the rocket named Kuaizhou, which means speedy boat in English, said in an interview that the solid rocket motor will be used in China's Kuaizhou-21 and Kuaizhou-31 large-thrust solid-propellant carrier rockets.
The Kuaizhou-21 has a maximal near-earth orbit carrying capacity of 20 tons , while the Kuaizhou-31 has a maximal carrying capacity of 70 tons in the near-earth orbit.
The Kuaizhou series rockets will be blasted into space by the truck-mounted mobile launcher. In the first half of 2018, the Kuaizhou-11 solid-propellant carrier rocket will have its maiden flight, carrying six satellites.
With a takeoff weight of 78 tons and a near-earth orbit maximal carrying capacity of 1,500 kg and a sun-synchronous orbit carrying capacity of 1,000kg/700 km, the Kuaizhou-11 will mainly send single or multiple small satellites and microsatellites into the near-earth and sun-synchronous orbits ranging from 400 km to 1,500 km.
With the ultra-large diameter solid rocket motor with a large-thrust, the carrying capacity of Kuaizhou series will be increased from 1 ton to 20 tons and the cost for launching a rocket will be further lowered to $5,000 per kilogram, highly competitive compared with the ruling price range of $20,000-30,000 per kg in the present world market.
The coming out of the ultra-large diameter solid rocket motor is a significant milestone in China's commercial space flight development.