Space Launch Report:   CZ-5-7 Data Sheet
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cz7-gtvs.jpg (8194 bytes)Chang Zheng 5, 6, and 7

Vehicle Configurations

Vehicle Components

Launch Log

CZ-7 Ground Test Vehicle Rollout, February 2015, Wenchang

Since 1970, China’s orbital launches have been performed by Chang Zheng (CZ, or “Long March”) rockets derived from Dong Feng (DF, or “East Wind”) ballistic missiles.   The current CZ-2 to CZ-4 series derived from the two-stage DF-5 intercontinental range ballistic missile.  This series, which first flew in 1973, can haul 2.8 to 9.5 metric tons (tonnes) to low earth orbit (LEO) and 2.6 to 5.1 tonnes to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).  The CZ-2F variant has been used to launch crewed Shenzhou spacecraft.  

Now China’s Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT) is working toward development of a more powerful launch vehicle family.  CZ-5, China’s first pure space launch vehicle design, is expected to be able to haul up to 25 tonnes to LEO or up to 14 tonnes to GTO.   CZ-5 will be augmented by CZ-6 and CZ-7, smaller rockets based on CZ-5 strap-on boosters.  (These variants were originially identified as part of the CZ-5 family and leter renamed.)  The new EELV-class rocket family will almost certainly support China’s future manned spaceflight and lunar exploration plans.

CZ-5 will be powered by a new series of liquid engines, including a 120 tonne thrust LOX/Kerosene engine identified as YF-100 and a 50 tonne thrust LOX/LH2 engine named YF-77.  The new engines will do away with the toxic hypergolic UDMH/N2O4 propellants used by the DF-5 based Long March rockets. 

Engine development began in 2000-2001, with testing directed by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) commencing in 2005.  Versions of both engines were successfully tested by mid-2007.

A complete family of CZ-5 options is envisioned, based on a modular approach.  Three module types, with diameters of 2.25 meters, 3.35 meters, and 5.0 meters, were described in some detail during the 2001-2003 period [1].  The smaller modules were serve as strap on boosters for CZ-5 and also as core stages for smaller rockets.  CZ-7 would use the 3.35 meter module as a first stage core while CZ-6 would use the 2.25 meter module.  After CZ-6 entered development in 2008, its first stage design was modified to use 3.35 meter diameter tanks while still powered by a single YF-100 engine.

cz5-test15s.jpg (19474 bytes)

CZ-5 Test Article, Early 2015

Original plans called for the 2.25 meter module to be powered by one 120 tonne thrust kerosene/liquid oxygen (LOX) engine.  Two such engines would boost the 3.35 meter module.  The 5 meter diameter core stage would use two 50 tonne thrust liquid hydrogen (LH2)/LOX engines.  Any of the modules could be used as first stage units on small and medium launch vehicles.  The two smaller modules could also serve as strap-on boosters for the 3.35 and 5 meter core stages, in combinations of two or four. 

Three second stages, one in each of the three module diameters, were also planned.  The 5 meter upper stage would be powered by two LH2/LOX engines of 8 tonnes thrust each, similar to the YF-75 engines that currently power the CZ-3B upper stage.  The existing CZ-4A second stage might be used as the 2.25 meter diameter upper stage, or a new kerosene fueled stage might be developed.  A new 3.35 meter kerosene upper stage, powered by four new 15 tonne thrust YF-115 engines, was also contemplated.

Development initially focused on the 5 meter core configurations due to the effort required, but CZ-7, the 3.35 meter diameter vehicle, was also pushed forward to become the first of the new rockets planned to fly.  These plans were later changed, with CZ-6 slated to fly first.  CZ-7 could fly as a two stage rocket, or with two or four 2.25 meter strap on boosters, allowing it to lift from 3 to 10 tonnes to low earth orbit (LEO).  A hydrogen fueled third stage could be added to the most powerful variants for high energy missions, providing up to a 6 tonne geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) capability. CZ-7 would, as a result, be able to supplant most of the existing Chinese launch vehicles.   It might also find a role in the manned Shenzhou program.   

CZ-5's 5 meter diameter, 31 meter-long core would weigh 175 tonnes at liftoff, including 158 tonnes of propellant.  The core will be augmented by four strap-on boosters, with either two of each diameter (2.25 and 3.35 meter) or with all four of the same diameter.  CZ-5 will fly as a 1.5 stage launcher for LEO missions, and as a 2.5 stage vehicle for GTO and deep-space missions.    

The most powerful CZ-5 version, identified as “CZ-5-504” (or "CZ-5B" or "CZ-5F" with an upper stage) and equipped with four 3.35 meter modules strapped onto a 5 meter core stage, would liftoff on more than 1,080 tonnes of thrust produced by a total of ten engines, suggesting a possible gross liftoff weight exceeding 800 tonnes.  This CZ-5 version, if built as originally planned, might be the world’s most capable launch vehicle in the post-shuttle era, able to boost more payload mass to orbit than any other launch vehicle. 

Planners hint that full implementation of the CZ-5, 6, and 7 family would occur over a very long period of time.  There are no current plans to replace the CZ-2F human launch vehicle, for example. 

cz6-ftvs.jpg (9386 bytes)CZ-6 Ground Test Vehicle at Taiyuan in 2013

CZ-6 development began in 2008, led by the 8th Research Institute of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). After detailed study of the original 2.25 meter design revealed performance issues, the first stage diameter was increased to 3.35 meters, while the second stage retained its 2.25 meter diameter.  First stage propellant loading increased from 61 to 76 tonnes while second stage propellant increased from 13 to 15 tonnes.  The propellant tanks used seperate bulkheads in both stages.  The changes increased 700 km sun synchronous payload from 500 kg to more than 1,000 kg, shrunk vehicle length from 35 meters to 29.237 meters, and allowed use of a roomier 2.6 meter diameter payload fairing.

A single YF-100 staged combustion LOX/kerosene engine of about 120 tonnes thrust would power the first stage.  A single 18 tonne vacuum thrust staged combustion LOX/kerosene YF-115 engine would power the second stage. A new third, kick stage was added to the design to perform final orbital insertion.  It would use four 408 kgf thrust YF-85 hydrogen peroxide/kerosene engines.

During 2012, the CZ-6 YF-100 propulsion system was successfully test fired.  A two-stage test firing took place during the first half of 2013, and all three stages were tested during July, 2013. 

A new launch pad was constructed at Taiyaun launch center for CZ-6.  Photos of completed CZ-6 test articles appeared in 2013, as did images of a completed ground test vehicle erected on its new launch pad.   CZ-6 was designed to be horizontally integrated in a hangar.  It would then move to its launch pad on a wheeled transporter and be erected by a lift arm shortly before launch.  The launch vehicle would perform 1 tonne payload class sun synchronous missions from Taiyuan.  A first launch was expected to occur before the end of 2015.

Both CZ-5 and CZ-7, and eventually CZ-6, will be launched from a new site near Wenchang on Hainan Island off China's southern coastline.  Completed 2.25 meter and 3.35 meter diameter test stages were shown in 2013 photographs.  A complete CZ-7 Ground Test Vehicle was transported to Wenchang during late 2014.   During early 2015, the vehicle was stacked with four 2.25 meter diameter strap-on modules on a mobile launcher platform.  The platform with the stacked vehicle was then moved to one of the two new launch pads to allow check out of the facilities. 

Meanwhile, a complete CZ-5 test vehicle was assembled with 3.35 meter diameter strap on modules in a vertical test tower near Beijing.  During early February, 2015, a static test firing of the integrated CZ-5 was successfully performed.

cz6-1.jpg (13342 bytes)China's New Rocket Debuts

China successfully launched its first Chang Zheng 6 rocket from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center on September 19, 2015. The three-stage launch vehicle, powered off its new launch pad by China's new 122 tonne thrust, staged-combustion cycle YF-100 LOX/kerosene engine, carried 20 microsatellites into sun synchronous orbit during the test flight. YF-100, China's first big LOX kerosene engine, will also power the forthcoming, larger CZ-5 and CZ-7 launch vehicles.

Liftoff from LC 16 took place at 23:01 UTC. The first stage burned for about 155 seconds. The second stage, powered by a YF-115 staged combustion engine producing 18 tonnes of thrust, burned LOX/kerosene for about 290 seconds. At apogee, a small kick stage, powered by four 408 kgf thrust YF-85 hydrogen peroxide/kerosene engines, fired to circularize the orbit.

CZ-6 was developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). It's 3.35 meter diameter first stage carried 76 tonnes of propellant while its 2.25 meter diameter second stage carried about 15 tonnes of propellant. The 29.237 meter tall rocket is capable of lifting more than 1,000 kg of payload into a 700 km sun synchronous orbit. Payloads ride within a 2.6 meter diameter fairing.

CZ-6 is integrated horizontally in a hangar. A large wheeled transporter/erector carries it to its flat launch pad and erects it shortly before launch.




 

cz7-1ax.jpg (6322 bytes)China Debuts CZ-7, Wenchang Launch Site
(June 30, 2016 Update)

CZ-7 Inaugural Liftoff

China's Chang Zheng (Long March) 7 flew successfully on its first try from the country's new Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on June 25, 2016. The liftoff, from Pad 201, the easternmost of two new launch pads at the Center, took place at 12:00 UTC. The launch site, on Hainan Island off China's southern coastline, is China's first sea-side launch site, which allowed the rocket stages to fall into the South China Sea as the vehicle ascended on a southeast azimuth toward orbit.

CZ-7 flew to a 200 x 394 km x 40.8 deg initial orbit with several demonstration payloads, including a 2.6 tonne blunt cone-shaped, scaled-down Next Generation Crew Vehicle that reentered and landed in China after about one day in orbit. Several microsatellites and ballast were also carried within the payload fairing atop a restartable YZ-1A upper stage. Total payload mass was reportedly about 12 tonnes, which would be the heaviest payload orbited since Japan's HTV-5 ISS cargo hauler in August, 2015. 

After entering orbit, the YZ-1A stage, which may use four 408 kgf thrust YF-85 hydrogen peroxide/kerosene engines, appeared to have performed several maneuvers, with objects tracked in orbits with apogees as high as 580 km.   The stage is also believed to have performed the NGCV deorbit burn.

CZ-7 is the second of China’s Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology's (CALT) new family of launchers to enter service, following the smaller CZ-6 in September 2015. CZ-7 uses a 3.35 meter diameter core stage powered by two 122.5 tonne thrust YF-100 RP/LOX staged combustion engines. Four 2.25 meter diameter strap-on boosters, each powered by one YF-100, augment the core to produce a total of 734.1 tonnes (1.618 million pounds) of thrust at liftoff. Four 18 tonne thrust YF-115 RP/LOX staged combustion engines power the 3.35 meter diameter second stage. The rocket weighs about 594 tonnes at liftoff and stands about 53.1 meters tall.


cz7-1bs.jpg (14559 bytes)CZ-7 Rollout on June 22, 2016, Pad 101 in Background (CZ-7 Diverged to East (Left), Toward Pad 201).

The 2.5 stage CZ-7 version can lift 13.5 tonnes to 200 x 400 km x 42 deg or 5.5 tonnes to a 700 km sun synchronous orbit. A liquid hydrogen third stage could be added in the future to lift payloads to GTO.

The CZ-7 core stage will serve as a strap-on booster for China's next, biggest-ever rocket, CZ-5, which may debut later this year. CZ-5 will have a 5 meter diameter liquid hydrogen fueled core stage and will be able to lift 25 tonnes to LEO, making it among the world's most powerful orbital launchers.

CZ-5 will fly from Pad 101, the west pad at Wenchang. The Center features two vertical assembly buildings, one for CZ-7 and one for CZ-5, which are located about 2.7 km north of the sea-side pads. Stacked launch vehicles move on rail-based mobile transporters from the VAB to the pad. A complete CZ-7 Ground Test Vehicle was assembled at Wenchang during early 2015 and moved to Pad 201 to check out the new site.

cz5-y1.jpg (15277 bytes)CZ-5 Debut (Updated 11/7/16)

China launched its first Chang Zheng (Long March) 5 from Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on Hainan Island off China's southern coastline on November 3, 2016, debuting a powerful new launch capability after nearly two decades of development.

The liftoff, from Pad 101, the westernmost of two new launch pads at the Center, took place at 12:43 UTC after about 2 hours 43 minutes of holds. A YZ-2 (Yuanzheng) restarable hypergolic upper stage and Shijian 17 experimental ion-propulsion satellite that together may have weighed 12 tonnes or more topped the 2.5 stage CZ-5 vehicle on this inaugural test flight.  Shijian 17 itself likely weighed nearly 4 tonnes.

The initial, half-hour phase of the flight used two second stage burns to put the YZ-2/Shijian 17 combination into a 178 x 29,127 km x 19.5 orbit. YZ-2 fired immediately after second stage separation to inserted Shijian 17 into a 212 x 35,802 km x 19.5 deg geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).  About six hours after launch, YZ-2 performed an apogee kick burn to insert Shijian into near-geosynchronous orbit.

At more than 870 tonnes, CZ-5 became the world's highest active gross liftoff weight launch vehicle. It's 5 meter diameter LH2/LOX core stage and four 3.35 meter diameter kerosene/LOX strap-on boosters produced a total 1,080 tonnes liftoff thrust using a total of 10 liquid rocket engines. The rocket stood 56.97 meters tall.

The 31.02 x 5 meter first stage weighed 175.8 tonnes and was powered by two YF-77 LH2/LOX engines that together produced 104 tonnes of liftoff thrust. The stage, which carried 158 tonnes of propellant, burned for 471 seconds, with the YF-77 engines operating at 430 seconds vacuum specific impulse.

cz5-1bs.jpg (8226 bytes)CZ-5 Vehicle Y-1 Rollout

The four 26.28 x 3.25 meter strap-on boosters were powered by two YF-100 RP/LOX staged combustion engines that combined to produce 242 tonnes of liftoff thrust for each booster.  YF-100 had previously powered China's inaugural CZ-6 and CZ-7 launches during the previous 14 months. Each booster may have weighed about 165 tonnes at liftoff.  The boosters burned for nearly 173 seconds before separating from the still-burning first stage.

The 12 x 5 meter second stage was powered by two YF-75D LH2/LOX engines that together made 32.6 tonnes of thrust at 438 second specific impulse. Similar YF-75 engines have powered CZ-3A and CZ-3B upper stages for years. The stage weighed 26 tonnes and carried 22.9 tonnes of propellant. It performed an initial 355 second burn to reach a low earth parking orbit, then restarted after a 592 second coast to the first equator crossing.   The 345 second long second burn lofted the payload to an orbit that was about 300 meters per sec short of GTO. 

The YZ-2 stage added an initial 80 second burn to reach the GTO velocity.  According to some accounts, this burn was planned as an early test of the new stage, which may have produced 1.33 tonnes total thrust at 316 seconds specific impulse.  At first apogee about 6 hours 11 minutes after liftoff, the stage began a 40 second burn to circularize the orbit.  Shijian 17 separation took place around the 6 hour 14 minute mark.

CZ-5 in its fully developed form will lift as much as 25 tonnes to low earth orbit in 1.5 stage form or 14 tonnes to GTO using 2.5 stages, making it more capable than Proton or Ariane 5 and possibly matching or exceeding Delta 4.

Vehicle Configurations

  LEO
Payload
(metric tons)
[1] LEO x ~42 deg
[2] 700 km x LEO/S
LEO Payload
(metric tons)
700 km x LEO/S
Geosynchronous
Transfer Orbit
Payload
(metric tons)
Orbit Inclination
not Specified
(using HO second stage)
Configuration
(Highlighted Versions have Flown)
LIftoff
Height
(meters)
Liftoff
Mass
(metric tons)
CZ-540(/HO) 10 t - 6 t 5m core + 4x2.25m strap-ons
+ optional "HO" 2nd stage
58 m 490 t
CZ-522(/HO) 20 t - 11 t 5m core + 2x2.25m strap-ons
+ 2x3.35m strap-ons
+ optional "HO" 2nd stage
60 m
630 t
CZ-504(/HO) 25 t - 14 t 5m core + 4x3.35m strap-ons
+ optional "HO" 2nd stage
62 m 870 t
CZ-5-340(/HO)
(CZ-7)
13.5 t 5.5 t 6 t 3.35m core + 4x2.25m strap-ons
+ 3.35m "KO" 2nd stg
+ optional "HO" 3rd stg
55 m 594 t
CZ-5-320(/HO)
(CZ-7)
3 t - 1.5 t 3.35m core + 2x2.25m strap-ons
+ 3.35m "KO" 2nd stg
+ optional "HO" 3rd stg
52 m 431 t
CZ-6
(CZ-5-200)
1.5 t   [1]
1.08 t [2]
- N/A 3.35 m CZ-6 stg + 2.25m 2nd stg + H2O2/kerosene 3rd stg
[orig 2.25 m stg 1 plan dropped]
25.237 m
[38 m]
103.217 t
[86 t]


Vehicle Components

2.25 m
Module
for CZ-7
Strap-on
Boosters
3.35 m
Module
for CZ-7
First Stage
and CZ-5
Boosters
5 m
Module
for CZ-5
First Stage
Short
3.35 m
Module
for CZ-6
First Stage
2.25 m
Stage 2
for CZ-6
3.35 m
Stage 2
"KO"
for CZ-7
YZ-1A
2.25 m
Stage 3
3.35 m
Stage 3
"HO"
5 m
Stage 2
"HO"
for CZ-5
YZ-2
Stage 3
for CZ-5
Diameter (m) 2.25 m 3.35 m 5.0 m 3.35 m 2.25 m 3.35 m 2.25 m 3 m 5 m 3.8 m
Length (m) 26.3 m (est) 26.3 m 31 m -- 8 m (est) 8 m (est) - 12.38 m 10 m (est) ?
Empty Mass (tonnes)
6 t 12.5 t 17 t 7.53 t (est) 1.49 t (est) 5.5 t (est) - 2.8 t 3.52 t (est) ?
Propellant Mass (tonnes) 75.5 t 174 t (CZ-7)
152 t (CZ-5 est)
158 t 76 t 15 t (est) 65 t (est) - 18.2 t 22.9 t ?
Total Mass (tonnes) 81.5 t 186.5 t (CZ-7)
165 t (CZ-5 est)
175 t 83.53 t 16.49 t (est) 70.5 t (est) - 21 t 26.4 t (est) 12 t?
Engine YF-100 YF-100 (2ea) YF-77 (2ea) YF-100 1xYF115 4xYF115 4xYF-85 YF-75 (2ea) YF-75 (2ea) 2xYF-50D
Engine Mfgr CAALPT CAALPT CAALPT CAALPT CAALPT CAALPT CAALPT CAALPT -
Fuel Kerosene Kerosene LH2 Kerosene Kerosene Kerosene Kerosene LH2 LH2 UDMH
Oxidizer LOX LOX LOX LOX LOX LOX H2O2 LOX LOX N2O4
Thrust
(SL tons)
122.35 t 244.7 t 110 t 122.35 t - - - - - -
Thrust
(Vac tons)
136.6 t 273.2 t 134.6 t 136.6 t 18 t 72 t 1.6 t 16.3 t 16.3 t 1.362 t
ISP (SL sec) 300 s 300 s 333 s 300 s - - - - - -
ISP (Vac sec) 335 s 335 s 438 s 335 s 335 s (est) 335 s (est) 285 s 438 s 438 s 316 s
Burn Time (sec) 155 s (est) 180 s (est) 500 s (est) 155 s (est) 290 s (est) 296 s (est) - 615 s (est) 615 s (est) ?
No. Engines 1 2 2 1 1 4 4 2 2 2
Comments


  2.6 m
Payload
Fairing
3.35 m
Payload
Fairing
5m
Payload
Fairing

Diameter (m) 2.6 m 3.35 m 5.0 m
Length (m) 5-7 m (est) 5-10 m (est) 12-24 m (est)
Empty Mass (tonnes) t  t  t


LAUNCH HISTORY

DATE     VEHICLE           ID      PAYLOAD                 MASS(t) SITE*     ORBIT**
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
09/19/15 CZ-6              CZ6-1   Multipayload                    TY 16     LEO/S
06/25/16 CZ-7/YZ-1A        CZ7-1   NGCV Demo              ~12.0    WC 201    LEO [1]
11/03/16 CZ-5/YZ-2         CZ5-Y1  SJ-17                   ~4.0    WC 101    GEO [2] 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[1] CZ-7 and Wenchang inaugural.  Scaled Next Generation Crew Capsule Demo, plus 
      microsats and ballast.  NGCV (2.6 t) reeentered/recovered next day.
[2] CZ-5 inuagural.  YZ-2 performed GEO insertion and final 300 m/s of GTO insertion.

References

 [1]  The New Generation Launch Vehicles of Long March Family, Tangming Cheng, Xiojun Wang, Dong Li, Beijing Institute of Astronautical Systems Engineering, 54th International Astronautical Congress of the International Astronautical Federation, the International Academy of Astronautics, and the International Institute of Space Law, October 2003, Bremen, Germany.

[2]  "Five Follows Seven, Details of China's New Launcher Family Emerge", Bradley Perrett, Aviation Week & Space Technology, March 12, 2012.

 Last Update:  November 7, 2016