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A reusable heavy lift rocket to be launched by China shortly.

Source – Elizabeth Howell

The fully reusable variant could be ready by 2035

A Chinese Long March 8 rocket launches on its debut mission from the Wenchang Space Launch Site on Hainan Island on Dec. 21, 2020.

A Chinese Long March 8 rocket launches on its debut mission from the Wenchang Space Launch Site on Hainan Island on Dec. 21, 2020. (Image credit: CASC)

China is considering developing a fully reusable Long March 9 megarocket variant in the aftermath SpaceX’s Starship, a media report suggests

The Long March 9 would use the same fuel (methane-liquid oxygen, or methalox) as SpaceX’s Starship, which is tasked for deep-space missions and NASA’s human moon landings. The two designs share heavy-lift capabilities and fuel types, but beyond that their structure is wildly different. For example, Starship can do in-air flips during landing.

The new Long March 9 design was revealed in a Chinese-language public lecture (available here(opens in new tab)) by Long Lehao, a chief designer of the Long March rocket series, according to SpaceNews(opens in new tab). The variant may fly as soon as 2035.

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