China tests powerful rocket engine for moon landing.

A Beijing space research institute tested a new rocket engine that is twice as powerful as its American competitor in the race to put the next astronaut on the moon, according to China’s space authorities.

The ground test was carried out on Monday (05) with “complete success”, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) said.

The engine will be used to launch China’s Long March 9 rockets, still under development, and propel astronauts in future missions to the moon, CASC said.

The upper-stage rocket engine can generate a 25 ton-force – more than twice the thrust produced by the RL10, the US-made engine that is expected to take American astronauts back to the moon. Upper-stage rocket engines are used at high altitudes to generate additional boost to propel a spacecraft to its destination.

China and the United States are in a new race to the moon. The Nasa-led Artemis programme, which includes about 20 member countries, aims to land American astronauts on the moon by 2025.

To carry out the programme, Nasa has built the most powerful rocket ever, the Space Launch System, but it is now sitting on a launch pad awaiting its much-delayed first flight.

China has teamed up with Russia to build an international research station on the moon and aims to send an astronaut to the lunar surface before 2030.

China’s heavy-duty rocket for the lunar landing mission is still under development.

Source: www.scmp.com


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