China’s First Commercial Rocket
- 26 Jul 2019
- 2 min read
Chinese startup Interstellar Glory Space Technology also known as iSpace has successfully launched the country’s first commercial rocket capable of carrying satellites into orbit.
- The 20-metre (66-foot) rocket designed by iSpace named Hyperbola-1 reached an altitude of 300 kilometres (186 miles).
- Two other private Chinese rocket builders, LandSpace and OneSpace, have both failed to launch their rockets into orbit in 2018.
- Once dominated by state research agencies and the military, China allowed private companies to enter the space industry to build and launch satellites in 2014.
- Dozens of Chinese companies are competing for a share in the global space industry which according to Morgan Stanley, is estimated to be worth about $1 trillion by 2040.
- The sector is currently dominated by SpaceX and Blue Origin in the US.
- Chinese startups are mostly focused on building technology to launch microsatellites instead of space tourism like their US counterparts.
- Microsatellites are typically no larger than a shoebox and are used to monitor crops, weather patterns or disaster sites or used by universities for research purposes.
- They are cheaper to build and easier to deploy than traditional truck-sized versions and their launch has become a lucrative market, currently dominated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)