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Russia, China to Adapt Spacecraft to Fly on Each Other’s Super Heavy-lift Launchers

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
May 31, 2021
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Ergonomic testing has been conducted for the new Orel spacecraft. (Credit: RSC Energia)

There was an interesting report from Interfax about Russia and China’s plans to explore the moon.

Roscosmos and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) have reached a verbal agreement to adapt their crewed spacecraft to each other’s super heavy-lift launch vehicles (LV), the Russian state space corporation’s Executive Director for Science Alexander Bloshenko told Interfax.

“We have already had a discussion on the possibility of adapting our super heavy-lift launch vehicle to their, Chinese, spacecraft and vice versa – their spacecraft to our super heavy-lift LV,” Bloshenko said.

In March, the two nations announced they would be collaborating on the construction of a crewed lunar base.

China is developing the Long March 9 booster, which is designed to place 140 metric tons into low Earth orbit (LEO) and 50 metric tons into Earth-moon transfer orbit. The maiden launch is scheduled for 2028.

Russia’s super-heavy Yenisei booster is designed to launch 103 to 140 metric tons to LEO. The maiden flight is also scheduled for 2028.

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