Long March 5

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Long March 5
China CZ-5.jpg
A model of the Long March 5
Function heavy orbital launch vehicle
Manufacturer CALT
Country of origin China
Height 62 m (203 ft)
Diameter 5 m (16 ft)
Mass 867,000 kg (1,911,000 lb)
Stages 3
Payload to LEO (200km x 400km x 42°) 25,000 kg (55,000 lb)
Payload to GTO 14,000 kg (31,000 lb)
Associated rockets
Family Long March
Comparable Delta IV Heavy, Ariane 5, Proton-M, Falcon Heavy
Launch history
Status In Development
First flight 3 November 2016[1]
Boosters - CZ-5-300
No. boosters 4
Diameter 3.35 m (11.0 ft)
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)
Fuel RP-1/LOX
First stage - CZ-5-500
Diameter 5 m (16 ft)
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)
Second stage - CZ-5-HO
Diameter 5 m (16 ft)
Engines 2 x YF-75D
Thrust 176.52 kN (39,680 lbf)88.26
Specific impulse 442 seconds (4.33 km/s)

Long March 5 (LM-5, CZ-5, or Changzheng 5) is a Chinese next-generation heavy lift launch system that is currently under development 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.[2] 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[3] and ~14,000 kilograms (31,000 lb) to GTO.[4]

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

First flight of the CZ-5 rocket is scheduled for November 3, 2016 from Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Center on Hainan island.[5]


"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."[3]

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."[3]

The first CZ-5 rocket to be launched completed production and testing in Tianjin manufacturing facility around August 16, 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 October 30, 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.[4][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 20th 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.[5]


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).[10] 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.[11][12] 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 [13]
Payload (GTO) ~14 t [14] --
References: [10]
Proposed [15]
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: [3]

Comparable Rockets[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Spaceflightnow launch schedule". Spaceflightnow. Retrieved 20 October 2016. 
  2. ^ "Chinese Long March 5 rocket". AirForceWorld.com. 12 June 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Long March 5 Will Have World's Second Largest Carrying Capacity". Space Daily. 4 March 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  4. ^ 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 
  5. ^ a b spaceflightnow, accessed September 30, 2016
  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. ^ a b Xiang, Meng; Tongyu, Li. "The New Generation Launch Vehicles In China" (PDF). International Astronautical Federation. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  11. ^ The great leap forward
  12. ^ Zhao, Lei (21 April 2016). "6 versions of LongMarch 5 rocket inworks". usa.chinadaily.com.cn. Retrieved 23 April 2016. 
  13. ^ http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/cz5.html
  14. ^ http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/cz5.html
  15. ^ http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/cz5.html