Chang Zheng-9 (Long March 9)
The Chang Zheng-9 (CZ-9, or Long March 9) is a super heavy-lift launch vehicle intended for future manned lunar landing and deep space exploration missions. The launch vehicle is described as a large rocket roughly 100 m in length and 8 to 9 m in diameter, assisted by two or four 3 m diameter solid rocket boosters, with a lift-off thrust of 5,200 to 5,500 tonnes. The launcher will be capable of delivering 130 tonnes of payload to Low Earth Orbit (LEO), exactly the same as the heavier Block 2 version of the NASA Space Launch System (SLS).
The development of the CZ-9 launcher and its 500-t thrust LOX/Kerosene liquid engine has been carried out by the China Aerospace Science & Technology Corporation (CASC)’s two subsidiaries, the Beijing-based China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT, or the 1st Academy) and the Xi’an-based subsidiary the Academy of Aerospace Propulsion Technology (AAPT, or the 6th Academy), respectively.