Private Chinese space company places satellites in orbit

September 5, 2018
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A rocket developed by Chinese company iSpace blasted into space Wednesday carrying three miniature satellites in another milestone for the country's budding private spaceflight industry.

Reports said the SQX-1Z rocket took off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China and entered space at a suborbital level. Two of the satellites will be released into space for testing while the third will re-enter the atmosphere and parachute down to Earth.

It was believed to be the first time a private Chinese company had carried satellites into space. Founded in 2016, iSpace is develops "high-quality, low-cost, fast-responding" commercial launchers to serve micro-satellite manufacturers, operators, research institutes and universities at home and abroad, according to a company statement.

China's space program has traditionally been run by the military, but a number of commercial satellite launchers have also sprung up in recent years, modeled on private U.S. companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin.

In May, Beijing-based OneSpace Technologies became the first private Chinese spaceflight company to send a rocket into space, launching its relatively modest 9-meter (30-foot) OS-X for a test flight that ended with it falling back to Earth.

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chemhaznet1
3 / 5 (2) Sep 05, 2018
"Private" Chinese company.
rrwillsj
1 / 5 (1) Sep 05, 2018
I gather that you meant your comment to be sarcastic. And there is always room for doubt about every publicity statement.

But that is true for all such headlines. Every one of us has to parse what is empty rhetoric and what is verifiable information. Each and every time. And especially when a press release leaves us feeling all vindicated and self-satisfied with ourselves.

For those who insist on the purity of private enterprise versus the evil government agencies? Are built on a network of contracts and contacts with said evil agencies. That provide the basic engineering used by "Private" space start-ups.

What disappoints me about Private Space Enterprises is the lack of truly innovative technology above and beyond the tried and true of rocket technology.

For all the boasts of Free Enterprise claims. I do mot see any major investors taking the risks of funding truly exotic inventions.
Spacebaby2001
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 05, 2018
@rrwillsj Could you provide some examples of potential "exotic inventions" that you think would be somewhat worthwhile for major investors to take on? Not that I'm a major investor or anything I'm just curious, and other than a space elevator (which has its own issues we all know about) I'm not aware of any realistic methods of getting mass into orbit. Maybe a rail gun?
mutant_dog
5 / 5 (2) Sep 05, 2018
Really, gentle beings ?

Reusable booster rockets is now a thing. Hall-effect electrojets for in-orbit maneuvering is a field full of innovation, engineering, and deployment. Mini-sats allow for similar functionality at a fraction of previous generation's weight and bulk. And so on.

So there is innovation. Tossing bulk masses into orbit is still a challenge; but all of the business of space is not inherently bulk-to-orbit.
rrwillsj
1 / 5 (1) Sep 05, 2018
I am am an advocate for space industries based on robot & waldo-drone automated orbital factories as the infrastructure for Space exploration and exploitation and self-defense from falling rocks.

It is my opinion that Human Space Colonization is simply unfeasible as we are a biology evolved in a one-gee field. Ans to date, there is no proof that Earthlife will survive and thrive for multiple generations outside the Van Allen Belt.

The two basic necessary innovations, are first Space Radiation Control. That seems feasible within present developing technology.

Material shielding just won't cut it. Maybe changing shield mass on a regular basis as a hermit crab changes protective habitats as it grows?

Better would be to develop some sort of protective energy field. Also capable of capturing high-energy particles and reusing those to power a vessel?
Or reuse for scanning, communications, whateverelse clever minds can finagle.

- cont'd -
rrwillsj
1 / 5 (1) Sep 05, 2018
- cont'd -

The truly exotic invention would be overcoming the zero/micro-gravity problem. This problem is why I consider Luna and Mars as worthless for Human Settlement.

This may be an intractable problem. Leaving Humanity stuck on Earth in a sullen funk. While our machines go out to develop this System's resources.

There is where we need to deliberately waste private and public funding. On supporting brash, young dreamers and nimble-fingered tinkers. And encouraging them to go crazy with outlandish ideas.

But we won't. The dreamers are the wrong sex/race/ethnic/ideology. The tinkers are social misfits shattering the smuggery of social norms.

And how do we sort the truly accomplished out of the tsunami of frauds and woo merchants and violent zealots?

In the end, they must produce a working, testable prototype to the standards of the US Patent Office.

All bombastic claims to date are just fraudulent vaporware. Disbelief until I can pilot your flying-saucer!
mutant_dog
not rated yet Sep 05, 2018
@willsj

Did you see the Economist this week ? Silicon Valley "..comes dangerously close to being a monoculture of white male nerds." (to be clear, they should have said "Asian/white".) This is the clade which impels the private exploits in and around space. (SpaceX, e.g.). Where, btw, patents are not necessarily the end game.

The waldo/drone model suffers from commo lag, at certain ranges, speeds of action, and detail of execution. What we can do today, on Mars, say, is gross, plodding, pre-planned actions over months - and it is a triumph !
rrwillsj
1 / 5 (1) Sep 05, 2018
m_s, in general, I can agree with you. Truly amazing what has been accomplished at enormous effort and willingness to direct funding to the sciences.

However, (here I go again!) our efforts are a one-legged hop. All this emphasis on military & espionage, on "Pure" research, on limited discoveries that could bring down major industries. Space exploration limited to supporting entertainment and glorification of Nationalism.

We need a second leg. An additional investment in developing orbital industries. That eventually will be the only viable foundation for Humans getting out of this gravity-well that traps us.

Sure there are communication and control lags. But at the velocities it will all be moving out there? Common sense and conserving investment means planning, organization, assembling global resources and brainpower.

This won't be a neighborly pick-up game or street-rod game of chicken.

Sorry, no human pilots. At best navigators and coordinators.
big_hairy_jimbo
1 / 5 (2) Sep 05, 2018
A Private Chinese company has achieved what the tiny nation of New Zealand already has.
Nothing to see here... move along.

I wonder whose technology China stole for this???
rrwillsj
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 06, 2018
b_h_l, Speaking of stolen tech? Have you paid the Russians for inventing space travel? Have you paid the Germans for their development of rocket technology? (see operation Paperclip)

Have you paid the Venetians for your plate glass windows. Or, the Chinese for your garden wheelbarrow? Or Black Americans for your peanut butter sandwich? Or the Shaker Sisters for a plethora of inventions?

My father, career US Army was fluent in French. From the 50's into the 70's he worked in an office that monitored French interests including their tech.

You want to go accusing other people of theft? First you need to stop being a thief! Otherwise you are just a hypocrite.

I think it was Handel. Who, when accused of stealing a competing composer's music, replied "Yes, but he didn't know what to do with it!"
Thorium Boy
1 / 5 (1) Sep 07, 2018
Chinese can watch their own progress co-opting Africa.
rrwillsj
not rated yet Sep 07, 2018
Well TB, do you think the Chinese ib Africa can do any worse than Western pirates, slavers and corporations have done?

Your whinge is because the Africans may gain more benefits dealing with Chinese than you would ever gift them!
big_hairy_jimbo
not rated yet Sep 18, 2018
b_h_l, Speaking of stolen tech? Have you paid the Russians for inventing space travel? Have you paid the Germans for their development of rocket technology? (see operation Paperclip)

Have you paid the Venetians for your plate glass windows. Or, the Chinese for your garden wheelbarrow? Or Black Americans for your peanut butter sandwich? Or the Shaker Sisters for a plethora of inventions?

My father, career US Army was fluent in French. From the 50's into the 70's he worked in an office that monitored French interests including their tech.

You want to go accusing other people of theft? First you need to stop being a thief! Otherwise you are just a hypocrite.

I think it was Handel. Who, when accused of stealing a competing composer's music, replied "Yes, but he didn't know what to do with it!"


Your comment is irrelevant as my argument still stands. I asked whose technology did they steal? Now don't strawman me, simply answer the question.

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