Chinese mull 'moon'-capable rocket engine

BEIJING, July 26 (UPI) -- Chinese engineers say they are considering new engines for the next generation of space rockets four times as powerful as the country's current engines.

China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology engineers envision a rocket engine with a thrust of 600 tons, burning highly potent liquid oxygen and liquid oxygen propellant, BBC News reported Monday.


China is well into development of its most powerful rocket to date, called the Long March-5, which will have engines generating 120 tons of thrust, the report said.

"Rockets (with 600-ton thrust engines) would only be justified for things like sending humans to the moon, if such projects are approved," said Li Tongyu, general manager of the marketing department at CALT.

A rocket using engines like the 600-ton unit proposed by the Chinese would be in the same category as the Saturn-5 rocket that carried United States astronauts to the moon, the BBC said.

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