I-Space, one of China’s private aerospace companies, launched the carrier rocket SQX-1 Y1 containing multiple satellites and other payloads from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu province on July 25.
This is the first time that any private Chinese aerospace company has successfully launched a carrier rocket with payloads into orbit. It also marks a first for these companies to be able to advertise in space as well as to send footage back to earth.
“The success started a new chapter for China’s private aerospace industry. I-Space is proud to witness this historical moment, as we are trusted with this opportunity and challenge by the industry and the market,” I-Space said in its official statement.
The success is groundbreaking for China’s private aerospace industry, as companies in the sector has been through two failures in launching carrier rockets into orbit. LandSpace, a private Chinese space launch company, failed on Oct. 27, 2018. Half a year later, another player OneSpace also failed in the launching process. The whole group has been looking forward to a success.
“Wish I-Space a good success with launching the carrier rocket. When rockets can carry payloads to certain orbit, let’s improve our morale and do a long-term job,” posted LinkSpace CTO Chu Longfei the night before the launch.
I-Space was founded in 2016, when the first wave of non-state-owned aerospace entities started to grow as encouraged by the Chinese government. Before this launch, the company has launched a single-stage vehicle twice, though none of which reached orbit.
The company expects to finish launching carrier rocket SQX-1 Y2 to SQX-1 Y6 by the end of 2020, preparing itself for large scale commercial launches in the future, according to vice president Yao Bowen.