Standardization, modulation and integration would feature future developments of China's carrier rockets, a Chinese rocket expert told Xinhua today.
China will focus efforts on research and large-scale production of basic types of rockets that could be combined and improved according to different requirements of each launch, said Liu Zhusheng, chief designer of the rocket system of China's manned space flight program, comparing the mechanism to building blocks that can be combined into different shapes.
According to Liu, China's rocket production is conducted on the single piece basis at present as only two launches are made at most each year. In line with quality requirements, one of the rockets would be singled out to pass quality check.
"Such small lot production would inevitably lead to waste," said Liu.
On the improvement of propellant agents, Liu said that non-toxic propellant agents will replace current propellant agents which are poisonous, requiring a lot of pollution control measures.
"The current satellite launch service market is in excessive supply," said Liu. "In order to compete with the United States, the European Space Agency, Russia, Ukraine and India, it is necessary for us to look ahead and outpace the competition rivals in the study of technology and functions."
China has 12 models of rockets in four major series. To date, the "Long March" series of rockets have successfully sent 52 home-made satellites, 27 foreign-made satellites and five "Shenzhou" spaceships into space.
(Xinhua News Agency October 15, 2003)