Encyclopedia Astronautica
CZ-2 Spaceplane Launcher



cz2f.jpg
Chinese Manned LVs
Chinese Launch Vehicles for Manned Projects. From left: Tsien Spaceplane Launcher, 1978; Project 921 Launch Vehicle, 1992; CZ-2F, 1999; CZ-2E(A), 2000. Only the last two were put into full scale development.
Credit: © Mark Wade
Chinese orbital launch vehicle. Tsien's manned spacecraft design proposed in the late 1970's was a winged spaceplane, launched by a CZ-2 core booster with two large strap-on boosters. It so strongly resembled the cancelled US Dynasoar of 15 years earlier that US intelligence analysts wondered if it wasn't based on declassified Dynasoar technical information.

First public announcement of the manned program came in February, 1978. In January, 1980 the Chinese press reported a visit with the Chinese astronaut trainees at the Chinese manned spaceflight training centre. Photographs appeared of the astronauts at the controls of a space shuttle-like spaceplane cockpit. But then, suddenly, in December, 1980, Wang Zhuanshan, the Secretary General of the New China Space Research Society and Chief Engineer of the Space Centre of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, announced that Chinese manned flight was being postponed because of its cost. Fundamental economic development was given priority.

Masses, performance estimated based on two strap-on boosters identical to CZ-2 first stage on a CZ-2 core.

LEO Payload: 7,800 kg (17,100 lb) to a 185 km orbit at 28.00 degrees.

Status: Design 1978.
Gross mass: 500,000 kg (1,100,000 lb).
Payload: 7,800 kg (17,100 lb).
Height: 33.00 m (108.00 ft).
Diameter: 3.35 m (10.99 ft).
Thrust: 6,000.00 kN (1,348,800 lbf).
Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • CZ China's first ICBM, the DF-5, first flew in 1971. It was a two-stage storable-propellant rocket in the same class as the American Titan, the Russian R-36, or the European Ariane. The DF-5 spawned a long series of Long March ("Chang Zheng") CZ-2, CZ-3, and CZ-4 launch vehicles. These used cryogenic engines for upper stages and liquid-propellant strap-on motors to create a family of 12 Long-March rocket configurations capable of placing up to 9,200 kg into orbit. In 2000 China began development of a new generation of expendable launch vehicles using non-toxic, high-performance propellants with supposedly lower operating costs. However these encountered development delays, and it seemed the reliable Long March series of rockets would continue in operational use for nearly fifty years before being replaced. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • CALT Chinese manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, Beijing, China. More...

CZ-2 Spaceplane Launcher Chronology


1978 February - . LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-2 Spaceplane Launcher.
  • First public announcement of a Chinese manned program - . Nation: China. Spacecraft: Chinese Manned Capsule 1978. Summary: First public announcement of a Chinese manned program came in February, 1978. By November the head of the Chinese Space Agency, Jen Hsin-Min, confirmed that China was working on a manned space capsule and a 'Skylab' space station..

1980 January - . LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-2 Spaceplane Launcher.
  • Chinese astronauts in training - . Nation: China. Spacecraft: Chinese Manned Capsule 1978. The Chinese press reported a visit with the Chinese astronaut trainees at the Chinese manned spaceflight training centre. Photographs appeared of the astronauts in training. Pressure suited astronauts were shown in pressure chamber tests. Other trainees were shown at the controls of a space shuttle-like spaceplane cockpit.

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use