China successfully tests the world’s largest solid-fuel rocket engine

The world’s largest thrust propellant rocket engine developed by China passed a successful test, marking a substantial improvement in the payload of the country’s solid rockets.

The thruster, with a diameter of 3.5 meters and a maximum thrust of 500 tons, powered by 150 tons of solid fuel, is the most powerful solid rocket engine.

Multiple advanced technologies – for example, a high-performance fiber composite shell, high-load integral cast-iron combustion chamber, and oversized nozzle – make it a premier rocket engine.

“Today’s tests are very successful. We tested all parameters, including the 500-ton thrust which operated for 115 seconds,” said Ren Quanbin, president of the Fourth Research Institute of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the developer.

Different from a liquid fuel engine, a solid rocket engine is powered by high energy gunpowder, with the advantages of simple structure, flexible mobility, and instant large thrust.


“For solid rocket engines, the gunpowder charge was several hundred kilograms, several tons or tens of tons,” said Yu Ying, director of factory 7416 at the Fourth Research Institute.

“This is the first time that it has exceeded 100 tonnes.”

The successful trial offers more power options for carrier rocket development and is of great importance for promoting the development of large and heavy rockets in the country.

Based on the newly tested thruster, its developer began the study of the five-stage thruster, the diameter of which can reach 3.5 meters and the thrust of 1000 tons.

“The success of the test means that we have made substantial progress in improving the capacity of our solid propellant carrier rockets,” said Wang Jianru, chief engine designer, as quoted by state media China Daily.

The future booster engine is expected to be used in large and heavy rockets to meet various demands for launchers in space missions such as manned moon landings and deep space exploration.

“We are internationally advanced in the field of large solid rocket engines. Then we will develop a solid 1000 ton rocket motor to provide stronger thrust for Chinese carrier rockets in the future, ”said Dr Ren.

Earlier this week, China denied a Financial Times report that it tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in July, claiming instead to have tested a space vehicle.

“It was not a missile, it was a space vehicle,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said during a regular press briefing in Beijing when asked about the report.

It was a “routine test” with the aim of testing the technology to reuse the vehicle, he added.

Last week, China launched a spacecraft carrying three astronauts to the central module of a future space station, where they are to stay for six months, the longest time in orbit for Chinese astronauts.

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China launches mission to build space station

Reuters / ABC

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