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China launches smallsat

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.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

 
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

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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