Chinese private space startup LinkSpace completed its third test of a reusable rocket in Qinghai province on Aug. 10, pushing China one step further in the reusable rocket industry as well as affordable space launches.
LinkSpace’s RLV-T5 rocket flew to a designated height of 300 meters (984 feet) and landed with a landing accuracy of 7 centimeters in 50 seconds, according to the company.
“When it landed safely, I almost cried,” posted Chu Longfei, CTO of LinkSpace.
China’s world famous science fiction writer Liu Cixin was at the site counting down for the launch.
The company plans to launch its next-generation RLV-T16 rocket, which will be able to reach up to a height of 150 kilometers, next year, CEO Hu Zhenyu said. To greet a successful launch, LinkSpace would need a recoverable turbopump-feed liquid rocket engine, according to Jzyjspace, another Chinese private aerospace service provider.
The previous two tests with RLV-T5 reached 20 meters and 40 meters above the ground in March and April respectively.
China has been making great strides in the field of reusable rockets. Five days earlier, China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology successfully tested a technology that can accurately control the landing site of falling rocket parts, marking a milestone in the reusable rocket industry.
“Only when you lower the cost of rockets, there is profits. If we can recover rockets at a lower cost than the rockets themselves, the industry will benefit a ton. That is also the key of Elon Musk’s success,” said a person familiar with the matter.