China successfully launched twice today

China completed two different launches from two different launch locations today, with one being the first launch of a new rocket.

First, China’s solid-fueled Kuaizhou-1A lifted off from the Jiuquan spaceport in northwest China, placing what the state-run press described as a “satellite is mainly used for experiments such as space environment detection.” No other information was released. Nor was any information released about where the rocket’s lower stages crashed inside China.

Next, a Chinese pseudo-company, Orienspace, completed the first launch of its new Gravity-1 rocket, lifting off from a barge off the coast of Haiyang in the Yellow Sea carrying three satellites. The state-run press once again failed to mention this company’s name in its report, describing it instead as a “launch by China”, illustrating again the lack of independence these pseudo-companies have. They might design and build on their own, but they are controlled entirely by the communist government, and at any time can be taken over by it.

Though the rocket itself appears very similar in many ways to India’s largest version of its liquid-fueled GSLV rocket, very squat with four strap-on boosters, Gravity-1 is solid-fueled (thus derived from the missile technology controlled by China’s military). It is also the most powerful solid-fueled rocket now in operation, twice as powerful as Europe’s Vega-C.

The 2024 launch race:

4 China
3 SpaceX
1 India