HELSINKI — Chinese commercial launch companies are making ground in a race to bring new generation launch vehicles to the market.
Beijing Interstellar Glory Space Technology Ltd., also known as iSpace, says it is aiming to test its Hyperbola-2 launch rocket in 2021.
The liquid methane-liquid oxygen launcher will be capable of lifting 1.1 metric tons to a 500 km Sun synchronous orbit (expendable) or 700 kg reusable. The 28-meter-tall, of 3.35-meter-diameter will have a mass at liftoff of about 90 metric tons, according to a presentation from iSpace last week.
In July iSpace performed the first successful orbital launch by a Chinese private company. This was preceded by attempts by OneSpace in March and Landspace in October last year. All of these used solid propellant launch vehicles.
Landspace is meanwhile making progress in the development of liquid methane-liquid oxygen engines for its two-stage Zhuque-2 (Vermillion Bird-2), set for debut in 2021.
In early July Landspace carried out lengthy tests of the TQ-11, a 10-ton thrust engine for the Zhuque-2 second stage. This was followed by a successful 100-second test of the TQ-12 80-ton thrust methalox engine.
IAC visa issues
Both iSpace and Landspace have booths at the ongoing International ...