China launches smallsat

My annual birthday-month fund-raising drive for Behind the Black is now on-going. Not only do your donations help pay my bills, they give me the freedom to speak honestly about science and culture, instead of being forced to write it as others demand.


Please consider donating by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:

If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.

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
6 Europe (Arianespace)

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



  • 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *