The Changzheng 2F (CZ-2F) was China’s first and only man-rated rocket, designed to launch the Shenzhou spacecraft and Tiangong Space Laboratory module. The rocket was almost identical to the Changzheng 2E in airframe design, but its onboard electronic and control systems were redesigned for improved system redundancy and safety. Furthermore, the structure of the rocket’s first- and second-stage was also enhanced to support the heavier spacecraft and its launch escape system.
Following years of feasibility study, the Chinese space industry finally concluded that the future manned spacecraft should be launched by a rocket based on the existing CZ-2E in order to save time and development cost. After the Project 921 human space flight programme was approved by the Chinese leadership, CALT began the development of the new launch vehicle designated CZ-2F in 1992.
To make the CZ-2E man-rated, the rocket was added with two systems: the launch escape system and the fault detection and diagnosis system. The rocket retained the basic arrangement of the CZ-2E, with a two-stage liquid core vehicle and four liquid strap-on boosters. The spacecraft vehicle is housed inside an enlarged payload fairing, which is directly attached to the launch escape tower on top of the spacecraft.
The modification had resulted in an increase of the rocket’s overall height from 49.69m to 58.34m, and its launch weight from 462.5t to 479.8t. The rocket was capable of sending an 8,000kg payload into a 200km X 350km parking orbit.
The launch vehicle consisted of 9 systems: airframe, propulsion, guidance and flight control, propellant management, error detection and diagnosis, launch escape, telemetry, remote test, and auxiliary system.
In 2011, CLAT introduced an improved CZ-2F, which featured 170 items of improvements on its design, and an increased payload capacity to 8,100kg for manned launch and 8,600kg for unmanned launch.
CZ-2F (Manned configuration)
CZ-2F (Unmanned configuration)
|Overall length||58.34 m|
|Core stage diameter||3.35 m|
|Take-off mass||479.8 t|
|Take-off thrust||5,923.2 kN|
|LEO capacity||Basic variant: 8,000 kg
8,100 kg (Manned)
8,600 kg (Unmanned)
|Length||28.5 m||15.1 m||15.326 m|
|Diameter||3.35 m||3.35 m||2.25 m|
|Gross mass||199 t||91.4 t||40.75 t (each)|
|Empty mass||12.55 t||5.0 t||3.0 t (each)|
|Propellant mass||169 t||84.76 t||37.75 t (each)|
(Swivelling) 4 X YF-23B
|Thrust*||2,962 kN||(Main) 738.4 kN
(Swivelling) 4X 47.07 kN
|740.4 kN (each)|
|Isp*||2,556.2 N.s/kg||(Main) 2,922.4 N.s/kg
(Swivelling) 2,834.1 N.s/kg
|Burn time||160.43 s||(Main) 301.18 s
(Swivelling) 414.68 s
* Sea-level values for the first-stage and boosters, and vacuum values for the second-stage
Last updated: 23 February 2012