LM-5D Chinas New Carrier Rocket
The LM-5D, China's new super-rocket...
China has developed a new military rocket that has the capability to launch multiple satellites into orbit. The rocket is China’s next move to help market its satellites, communications technologies and launch services to overseas countries, especially those which produce oil.
At the Zhuhai Air Show, China introduced a high-capacity LM-5D carrier rocket with a diameter of 5 meters at the core section, bundled with one 2.25-meter-diameter booster and two 3.35-meter-diameter boosters.
The LM-5D rocket is 60 meters in length, weighs 675,000 kilograms at takeoff, and has the capacity to send targets of 10,000 kilograms into geostationary transfer orbit. Weighing in at 14 tons, it will be on par with the technological standard of the KH-12 image-reconnaissance satellite of the U.S. military.
The advanced upper stage, which measures 3.8 meters in diameter and has a thrust power of 35 kilonewtons, has been designed to research orbit transfers and orbital killer satellites.
The upper stage can also be integrated with a CZ-5 carrier rocket that can directly blast designated equipment to medium Earth orbit and geostationary Earth orbit, or even lunar orbit. The CZ-5 is capable of sending a 25-ton-class satellite into low Earth orbit and a 12-ton-class satellite into geosynchronous orbit.
The LM-5D has outstanding maneuverability and can function in orbit for seven to 10 days. The initial flight of the rocket is expected no later than 2014.
In recent years, China’s export of space technology, including satellites and satellite-launching services, has been closely tied to its attempts to acquire natural resources globally. The LM-5D will put China in a more favorable position, capable of competing with the United States and Russia.
On Oct. 17, China signed a contract with ‘oil rich’ Pakistan to provide a PakSat-1 communications satellite and launching service. This is China’s third such foreign contract after producing a communications satellite for Nigeria in 2007 and Venezuela in 2008.
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