China has recently added another achievement on its list by launching the first ever Private Space Rocket designed by OneSpace Technologies. According to CNN, the 30-foot (9 meters) OS-X has launched recently from one of Northwest China’s platform.
The rocket has covered 170 miles (273km) in space and has reached an altitude of 35 miles (40km) from its launch pad. The objective of this project is to spend less than $10,000 for a kilogram of Cargo, which will boost the growth of private space firms so that they can work independently from the China National Space Administration. However, it will coordinate with China National Space Administration for research and development when needed.
According to the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, which is a state-owned company, the OS-X has developed in a year time to gather data for a research project. The company is working on a startup and has launched the project to collect data for it. However, engineering professor of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology aerospace, Xin Zhang spoke to the News network and said the $78 million budget of OneSpace led him to suspect they “cut corners,” and the rocket is entirely based on the original design.
On the other hand, their competitor Space X has cut down the cost of space launches by using the reusable rockets and has completed the tests successfully. Though OneSpace costs a lot less as compare to SpaceX and aspires to become the largest small-satellite launch companies; but it is believed to be carrying 220 pounds into orbit. The rocket also works on solid rocket fuel, which means its components cannot be reused once it is launched.
As per the Verge, the launch is undoubtedly a significant milestone for the company, but the company has still a lot of competition to be faced by its competitors, especially from huge corporations like Virgin and small startups like Rocket Lab and Orbital ATK.
CEO Shu Chang also told CNN, that many are comparing us with the SpaceX, but the difference between them and SpaceX is more than little. He also added that the launch is very significant for company’s investment, for media attention and most importantly to support the government. However, it is unclear if the US and other major satellite companies would be able to buy a ride on OneSpace rocket.