Completing a demonstrator for a huge first-stage rocket engine, possibly this year, is among the technology acquisition projects being undertaken by China’s main space industry group in preparation for a go-ahead for manned Moon missions. Work on engines for second and third stages and on the structure for the giant launcher, informally called Long March 9 and due to go to the Moon around 2030, is also underway. Long March 9’s targeted payload to low Earth orbit is 140 metric ...


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