Musk’s Counterparts in China

4 min read 

Elon Musk and his Space X rocket made world headlines after a successful launch at 2:30 am on February 7 at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. Falcon Heavy blasted off on its first test, and its two booster rockets mad a successful landing. Netizes joked the difference between Musk and Iron Man is a battle suit.

There is probably a bigger gap between Musk and the Marvel hero, but we do know his launch was the greatest moment in the history of commercial rocketry.

At the same time, it is another milestone in human exploration of space, which provides a feasible solution for mass exploration of the universe and the development of space. It’s fair to say that Musk and his SpaceX have ushered in a new era.

In foreign countries, “madmen” do “crazy things”, and in China, the study of aviation, aerospace and related technologies has never stopped. In 1999, China’s Shenzhou I Spaceship was launched. In 2013, the re-entry capsule of Shenzhou X Spaceship returned to the ground. China’s manned space technology has followed an orderly development.

In addition to the continuous in-depth study among state-owned enterprises, some private enterprises in China have also developed aviation and aerospace technology with the assistance of capital. IT Orange reported that seven commercial aerospace technology enterprises found financing since 2016.

Link Space

Link Space is a private aviation and amateur rocket technology company established in 2011. It develops the whole process of aerospace product development, from design to simulation, testing and manufacturing. So far, Link Space has developed prototype samples of liquid engines, test control system, solid engines and sounding rockets.

Commsat

Commsat is a science and technology company developing satellite technology. It was founded in 2015, focused on task design and innovative application of micro satellites. Commsat is committed to becoming the Xiaomi of the aerospace field, and building satellites as IP that attracts the public. Commsat said it hopes to make satellites accessible to the public.

Spacety

Spacety specializes in scientific experiments and technical verification. It was established in 2015. It is dedicated to providing short-cycle and cost-effective services by using low-cost commercial nano-satellites.

China Aerospace Science and Industry Rocket Corporation

China Aerospace Science and Industry Rocket Corporation is a professional rocket company established in 2016. The company provides commercial space launch services for domestic and foreign clients, and its future business scope will be extended to satellite applications, spacecraft launch, deep space exploration and other fields.

Landspace

Landspace is a private enterprise developing carrier rocket. It was established in 2015. It is committed to manufacturing high-quality small carrier rockets and providing one-stop commercial launch services. It has developed the LS-1, a small carrier rocket, which is independently designed and assembled by Landspace.

ZeroG Lab

ZeroG Lab manufactures core components of satellites, and was established in 2017. It is dedicated to producing components of microsatellites and nanosatellites, and to offering technical service consultation.

OneSpace

OneSpace focuses on spacecrafts and was founded in 2015. It is focused on the development, design and general assembly of its first low-cost small carrier. Its main business is to provide exclusive launch services for small spacecraft such as commercial micro satellites.

In 2015, China lowered the standards for commercial rocket launches. Therefore, private enterprises have the opportunity to launch rockets. As a result, commercial rocket-technology companies have only emerged and found financing since 2015.

These private aviation and space technology enterprises have their own priorities. For example, Commsat is dedicated to the design and innovation of micro-satellites. China Aerospace Science and Industry Rocket Corporation focuses on providing commercial space launch services for users at home and abroad. ZeroG Lab manufactures core components of satellite. OneSpace focuses on spacecraft.

These enterprises basically center around China’s space technology, and few enterprises are involved in the core technology due to national conditions. At present, aviation and aerospace core technologies are basically in the hands of China’s state institutions and central enterprises – few technologies are open to the outside world.

Generally speaking, compared with foreign enterprises, commercial rocket enterprises in China started relatively late and have less access to core technologies than their foreign peers. It is believed that with the increase of commercial demand, and the progress in China’s aviation and space technology, basic information will gradually open and policy will follow.

This article originally appeared in Sohu Tech and was translated by Pandaily.
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