The Saturn V rockets used to take man to the moon had the largest payload capacity to low earth orbit. They could take 118 tons into low earth orbit. China is planning to build the Long March 9 rocket that would have 20% more capacity. China is also planning to mass produce about ten super heavy Long March 9 rockets every year from 2030 to 2035. This would end up being sixty or more rockets. The White House just submitted a budget which could defer the US super heavy Space Launch System rocket.
If the SLS budget could defer construction of the larger Block 1B version. It would be far better for NASA and the USA to back the SpaceX Super Heavy Starship.
Li Hong, deputy general manager at China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, said the Long March 9 super heavy-lift carrier rocket will be capable of lifting 140 metric tons of payload into a low-Earth orbit, or a 50-ton spacecraft to a lunar transfer orbit. It would have a 44-ton payload to a Mars transfer orbit.
Long March 9’s carrying capacity is five times that of the Long March 5-currently the strongest member of China’s carrier rocket family. The Long March 5 has a payload capacity of 25 tons to a low-Earth orbit.
Li also noted that the Long March 9 will have a length of nearly 100 meters and a diameter of 9.5 meters, and will be propelled by a new-generation liquid oxygen/kerosene engine with 500 tons of thrust power.
The Long March 9 has passed internal technical reviews by experts at China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp and is awaiting government approval, said Shang Zhi, head of the company’s space exploration programs. Engineers are testing key parts.
The company estimates that about ten Long March 9 rockets will be needed each year from 2030 to 2035 in China to meet the nation’s robust demand in heavy-lift rockets at that time.
SOURCES- China.org.cn, Space.com
Written By Brian Wang