Long March 5

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Long March 5
Long March Rocket at Launchpad.jpg
Long March 5 first flight waiting at launchpad
Function heavy orbital launch vehicle
Manufacturer CALT
Country of origin China
Height 57 m (187 ft)
Diameter 5 m (16 ft)
Mass 879,000 kg (1,938,000 lb)
Stages 2
Payload to LEO (200km x 400km x 42°) 25,000 kg (55,000 lb)
Payload to GTO 14,000 kg (31,000 lb)
Payload to TLI 8,200 kg (18,100 lb)
Associated rockets
Family Long March
Comparable Delta IV Heavy, Angara A5, Ariane 5, Proton-M
Launch history
Status Active
Launch sites Wenchang LC-1
Total launches 1
Successes 1
First flight 3 November 2016[1][2]
Boosters - CZ-5-300
No. boosters 4
Length 27.6 m (91 ft)
Diameter 3.35 m (11.0 ft)
Gross mass 155,700 kg (343,300 lb)
Propellant mass 144,000 kg (317,000 lb)
Engines 2 x YF-100
Thrust SL: 2,400 kN (540,000 lbf)
Vac: 2,680 kN (600,000 lbf)
Total thrust 9,600 kN (2,200,000 lbf)
Specific impulse SL: 300 seconds (2.9 km/s)
Vac: 335 seconds (3.29 km/s)
Burn time 180 seconds
Fuel RP-1/LOX
First stage - CZ-5-500
Length 31.7 m (104 ft)
Diameter 5 m (16 ft)
Gross mass 175,600 kg (387,100 lb)
Propellant mass 158,300 kg (349,000 lb)
Engines 2 x YF-77
Thrust SL: 1,020 kN (230,000 lbf)
Vac: 1,400 kN (310,000 lbf)
Specific impulse SL: 310.2 seconds (3.042 km/s)
Vac: 430 seconds (4.2 km/s)
Burn time 480 seconds
Fuel LH2/LOX
Second stage - CZ-5-HO
Length 10.6 m (35 ft)
Diameter 5 m (16 ft)
Gross mass 22,200 kg (48,900 lb)
Propellant mass 17,100 kg (37,700 lb)
Engines 2 x YF-75D
Thrust 176.52 kN (39,680 lbf)88.26
Specific impulse 442 seconds (4.33 km/s)
Burn time 700 seconds
Fuel LH2/LOX
Upper stage - YZ-2
Diameter 3.8 m (12 ft)
Engines 2 x YF-50D
Thrust 6.5 kN (1,500 lbf)
Specific impulse 316 seconds (3.10 km/s)
Burn time 1105 seconds
Fuel N2O4/UDMH

Long March 5 (LM-5, CZ-5, or Changzheng 5) is a Chinese heavy lift launch system developed by China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT). CZ-5 is the first Chinese vehicle with new design focusing on liquid rocket propellants from the ground up.[3] Currently, two CZ-5 vehicle configurations are planned for different missions, with a maximum payload capacity of ~25,000 kilograms (55,000 lb) to LEO[4] and ~14,000 kilograms (31,000 lb) to GTO.[5]

The Long March 5 is planned to roughly match the capabilities of American EELV heavy-class vehicles such as the Delta IV Heavy.

The CZ-5's maiden launch occurred on 3 November 2016 at 12:43 UTC, from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Center on Hainan island. The launch was successful.


"The Chinese government approved the development of the rocket in 2007 following two decades of feasibility study. It will be manufactured at a facility in Tianjin, a coastal city near Beijing."[4]

As of 2008, the first launch of the Long March 5 was projected to "most likely" happen in Wenchang of the southernmost island province of Hainan, "where a new satellite launch center is under construction."[4]

The first CZ-5 rocket to be launched completed production and testing in Tianjin manufacturing facility around 16 August 2016. It is to be shipped to launch centre on Hainan island within weeks.[6]


The Chief Designer for the CZ-5 rocket was Long Lehao. The main objective for the CZ-5 rocket was to fulfill China's requirement for large payload to LEO and GTO missions for the next 20–30 years. The CZ-5 project was initially announced in February 2001, with initial development slated to begin in 2002 and the first versions of the vehicle to go into service by 2008. However, funding was only finally granted in 2007 as revealed by the developers during the Northeast China exhibition.

On 30 October 2007, construction for the CZ-5 production plant began in the TEDA West area near the Binhai New Area in Tianjin city. Building a completely new production facility that is close to the harbor will solve logistical problems associated with over-land transport of the large-sized rocket to launching centers. Instead, the rockets will be transported by sea from Tianjin to a new launch facility at Wenchang on Hainan Island. The new production facility would have an area totaling more than half a million square meters at the cost of RMB 4500 million (USD 650 million), with the first stage of the construction scheduled to be completed by 2009. When the production facility is completed in 2012, it would be capable of a maximum output of thirty CZ-5s annually. As of July 2012, development of the 1,200 kN thrust LOX/kerosene engine was test fired.[5][7] New photos of CZ-5 and of its tests were released in March 2015.[8]

CZ-5 carrier rocket was shipped from North China's Tianjin port at 20 September 2015 for a rehearsal (some drills carried out in a Wenchang Satellite Launch Center that involves both the carrier rocket and a probe) of a scheduled Chang'e-5 lunar mission planned around 2017.[9] The first test flight was scheduled for 2014 but this has slipped to 2016.[10]


The chief designer of CZ-5 is Mr. Li Dong of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT). The CZ-5 family will include three primary modular core stages of 5.2-m diameter (maximum). The total length is 60.5 metres and the weight at launch is 643 tons, with a thrust of 833.8 tons. Boosters of various capabilities with diameters ranging from 2.25 metres and 3.35 metres would be assembled from three modular core stages and strap-on stages. There would be a choice of engines with different liquid rocket propellants: 1,200 kN thrust LOX/kerosene engines or 500 kN thrust LOX/LH2 engines on first stage and boosters. The upper stage would use improved version of YF-75 engines.

Engine development began in 2000–2001, with testing directed by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) commencing in 2005. Versions of both new engines: YF-100 and YF-77 had been successfully tested by mid-2007.

The CZ-5 series will deliver ~25 tonnes payload to LEO, or ~14 tonnes payload to GTO (geosynchronous transfer orbit).[11] This would replace the CZ-2, CZ-3, and CZ-4 series in service, as well as providing new capabilities not possessed by current Long March rocket family. CZ-5 launch vehicle would consist of a 5.0-m diameter core stage and four 3.35-m diameter strap-on boosters, which would be able to send a ~25 tonne payload to low earth orbit (LEO).

Six CZ-5 variants were originally planned.[12][13] However the light variants were cancelled, in favor of CZ-6 and CZ-7 family launch vehicles.[citation needed]


In development
Version CZ-5 CZ-5B
Boosters 4xCZ-5-300, 2xYF-100 4xCZ-5-300, 2xYF-100
First stage CZ-5-500, 2xYF-77 CZ-5-500, 2xYF-77
Second stage CZ-5-HO, 2xYF-75D --
Third stage (optional) Yuanzheng-2 --
Thrust (at ground) 10565 KN 10565 KN
Launch weight 867 t 837 t
Height 62 m 53.66 m
Payload (LEO 200 km) -- ~25 t [14]
Payload (GTO) ~14 t [14] --
References: [11]
Proposed [14]
Version CZ-5-200 CZ-5-320 CZ-5-522 CZ-5-540
Boosters -- 2xCZ-5-200, YF-100 2xCZ-5-200, YF-100; 2xCZ-5-300, 2xYF-100 4xCZ-5-200, YF-100
First stage CZ-5-200, YF-100 CZ-5-300, 2xYF-100 CZ-5-500, 2xYF-77 CZ-5-500, 2xYF-77
Second stage CZ-YF-73, YF-73 CZ-5-KO, CZ-5-HO, 2xYF-75D CZ-5-HO, 2xYF-75D
Third stage (not used for LEO) -- CZ-5-HO, YF-75 -- --
Thrust (at ground) 134 Mgf (1.34 MN) 720 Mgf (7.2 MN) 824 Mgf (8.24 MN) 584 Mgf (5.84 MN)
Launch weight 82 t 420 t 630 t 470 t
Height (maximal) 33 m 55 m 58 m 53 m
Payload (LEO 200 km) 1.5 t 10 t 20 t 10 t
Payload (GTO) -- 6 t 11 t 6 t
References: [4]

List of launches[edit]

Flight number Date (UTC) Launch site Upper stage Payload Orbit Result
1 3 November 2016
Wenchang LC-1 YZ-2 Shijian 17 GEO Success
2 June 2017 Wenchang LC-1 None Shijian 18 GTO
3 2017 2nd half Wenchang LC-1 None Chang'e 5 LTO
4? 2018 Wenchang LC-1 None Tianhe LEO
5? 2020 Wenchang LC-1 None Mars Global Remote Sensing Orbiter / Small Rover TMI

Inaugural Flight[edit]

The launch was planned to take place at around 10:00 UTC, however several issues involving an oxygen vent and chilling of the engines were detected during the preparation which caused a delay of nearly 3 hours. The final countdown was interrupted three times due to problems with the flight control computer and the tracking software.[15] The rocket finally launched at 12:43 UTC.[16] Also, according to 大脚丫的汤婆婆, a user on the Chinese social media Weibo, a minor problem occurred during flight and the rocket put the YZ-2 upper stage and satellite into an orbit that was less accurate than expected. However, the trajectory was easily corrected with the YZ-2 upper stage and the payload was inserted into the desired orbit.[17]

Comparable rockets[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Successful Launch of Long March-5 Rocket". CCTV. 3 November 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "China conducts Long March 5 maiden launch". NASASpaceflight.com. 2016-11-03. Retrieved 2016-11-03. 
  3. ^ "Chinese Long March 5 rocket". AirForceWorld.com. 12 June 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Long March 5 Will Have World's Second Largest Carrying Capacity". Space Daily. 4 March 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Space.com staff (30 July 2012). "China Tests Powerful Rocket Engine for New Booster". Space.com. The more capable Long March 5 rocket is expected to help the country achieve its goal of constructing a space station in orbit by the year 2020, as well as play a key role in China's future space exploration aims beyond low-Earth orbit. The rocket's maiden launch is expected to occur in 2014 
  6. ^ "Chinese Long March 5 rocket ready to launch". AirForceWorld.com. 17 Aug 2015. 
  7. ^ Additional engine test-firings have taken place in July of 2013.David, Leonard (15 July 2013). "China Long March 5 Rocket Engine Test". Space.com. Chinese Rocket Engine Test a Big Step for Space Station Project 
  8. ^ Errymath. "First released picture of Long March 5 (CZ-5) Heavy Rocket". Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  9. ^ "China to rehearse new carrier rocket for lunar mission". English.news.cn. 20 September 2015. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  10. ^ spaceflightnow Archived 24 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine., accessed 30 September 2016
  11. ^ a b Xiang, Meng; Tongyu, Li. "The New Generation Launch Vehicles In China" (PDF). International Astronautical Federation. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  12. ^ Harvey, Brian (27 March 2013). "China in Space: The Great Leap Forward". Springer Science & Business Media – via Google Books. 
  13. ^ Zhao, Lei (21 April 2016). "6 versions of LongMarch 5 rocket inworks". usa.chinadaily.com.cn. Retrieved 23 April 2016. 
  14. ^ a b c Kyle, Ed. "CZ-5 Data Sheet". 
  15. ^ http://weibo.com/ttarticle/p/show?id=2309404038022592094692 (in Chinese)
  16. ^ "China launches Long March 5, one of the world's most powerful rockets". SpaceFlightNow.com. 3 November 2016. 
  17. ^ http://weibo.com/3613317253/EfWY6hVzM (original post in Chinese)