China’s National Space Administration (CNSA) has reportedly developed a new aerospace launching system that could offer tough competition to SpaceX, owned by Elon Musk. The Long March-9 rocket is said to have a payload capacity of over 100 tons, significantly more than SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, which can carry up to 64 tons.
“The Long March-9 rocket is China’s answer to the heavy-lift demands of ambitious space exploration programs,” said a CNSA spokesperson. “It will be capable of carrying payloads of over 100 tons into low Earth orbit and over 50 tons into Earth-Moon transfer orbit.”
The Long March-9 rocket, expected to be ready for launch by 2030, will stand at 93 meters tall and 10 meters in diameter. It will be able to transport manned spacecraft and cargo ships, among other payloads.
China has been making strides in the space industry, having recently landed a rover on the far side of the moon. The Long March-9 development is seen as a major step forward for the country’s space program.
“This will allow China to carry out more complex missions beyond low-Earth orbit,” said Chen Lan, an analyst at GoTaikonauts, a space industry analysis firm. “For example, landing on Mars, asteroids and even sending manned missions to the Jupiter system.”
However, it’s important to note that the Long March-9 is still in the development phase, and competition in the space industry is fierce. “SpaceX has also been making improvements to its own rockets and technology,” noted Chen Lan. Therefore, it’s difficult to predict how the Long March-9 will ultimately stack up against SpaceX and other players in the space industry.
By The Impactlab