China launches smallsat


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One of China’s claimed-to-be private companies, Expace, today launched a smallsat into orbit using the Kuaizhou-1A solid-fueld rocket. .

Exspace, like OneSpace and Ispace, is considered private by the Chinese. I find it interesting however that all these private companies have remarkably similar names, and all appear to be doing military work. Even if they get private financing from Chinese investors and their management is formed independent of the government, we should not be fooled. These are wholly owned and controlled by the Chinese government. They do nothing without its knowledge and support.

The leaders in the 2018 launch race:

26 China
16 SpaceX
8 Russia
7 ULA
6 Europe (Arianespace)

China has widened its lead over the U.S. in the national rankings, 26 to 24.

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2 comments

  • Steve H.

    Question: Why a solid fuel rocket? I thought that was military/ ICBM stuff? Isn’t liquid fuel propulsion much cheaper?

  • Man-made

    To Steve H .:

    The development and production of solid rocket fuels requires expensive and specialized equipment, as well as specialized experience and raw materials, not to mention safety issues, because you need to take explosive safety measures for your equipment and procedures. These and other reasons prevent many start-ups from going this route.

    But obviously these Chinese “start-ups” have access to this technology as well as to solid engine / fuel production facilities, which supports Mr. Z’s idea of a close connection of these start-ups with the Chinese military. On the basis, they can achieve a fast project progress.

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