The following is based on translations from Chinese media:
China will showcase for the first time its new spacecraft that can send more than 10 objects into different orbits in one travel. It means one rocket can launch more than 10 satellites.
Both the US and Russia developed such technology five decades ago. Now, China is catching up vigorously. The engine of the ‘air bus’ can restart more than 20 times when it flies in its orbits. The spacecraft’s structure efficiency exceeds by 75% compared with spacecraft of the same scale.
It can be used along with Changzheng-2D, Changzheng-2C, Changzheng-4B, Changzheng-4C and some other carrier rockets in service at present. It can also move old scrapped satellites out of useful orbits into “cemetery” orbits to prevent them from hindering other satellites and spacecrafts.
The ‘space bus’ is called Yuanzheng 1, and has not yet been given a codename. The section “Huge Space Transport Rocket Yuanzheng 1 Will Serve China’s Moon, Mars Projects” in Chapter 7 of my book Space Era Strategy: The Way China Beats The U.S. says:
A professor in the U.S. Naval War College says that the preparations for the maiden launch of Changzheng V (referring to the “space bus”) have been very difficult. The launch of the rocket has been delayed many times. However, “China’s persistence in the project reflects its will to become a space power. For the fulfilment of China’s ‘one step manned space travel’ plan formulated in 1993, a carrier vehicle with great boosting force is perhaps the most important hardware in the ‘puzzle’.”
The Changzheng V rocket is China’s largest rocket ever, with a diameter of 5.2 meters. It has to be assembled at the launching site as a train carrying it cannot pass through a railway tunnel. That means China’s space program has been freed from railway restriction.
I have to point out that the “space bus,” regarded as Changzheng V outside China, is to be on display at Zhuhai Airshow as a model. No test launch has ever been made. However, showcasing it indicates China’s confidence in ultimate successful development of the rocket.Source: huanqiu.com “China will showcase its ‘space bus’ able to launch 10 satellites in one travel” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese) Source: Chan Kai Yee Space Era Strategy: The Way China Beats The U.S.
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