Success for a first orbital launch from a Chinese “private” operator
The micro-launcher Hyperbola 1 of the Chinese startup company i-Space, founded in 2016, performed a successful maiden flight on July 25.
After unsuccessful attempts from OneSpace and LandSpace, in October last year and in March this year, i-Space has become the first Chinese “private” company to manage an orbital mission, deploying several payloads (between 3 and 7 according to the observers), at an altitude of 300 km. Among them is present the amateur radio cubesat 1,5U CAS 7B from Beijing Institute of Technology, weighing 3 kg.
The launch was operated on July 25 at 5:00 (UTC), from the state base of Jiuquan, in the Gobi desert (North-West of China), with the micro launcher Hyperbola 1.
Outcome of the Chinese openness.
The startup i-Space was founded in Beijing in 2016 — two years after the Chinese government decided to open space launches to competitors.
Its first orbital launch vehicle is 21 meters high (69 ft), and weighs 31 t at lift-off. It is equipped with four stages, the first three being composed of solid propellant while the last one is equipped with an engine powered by liquid propellant.
It is theoretically capable to set 260 kg on a low orbit.