China is trying to keep up to the space success so far celebrated by other nations, such as US or India, and to do so the Chinese startup LinkSpace completed its third test of a reusable rocket in the past five months. According to the company’s CEO Hu Zhenyu, the rocket RLV-T5 took off in the western Qinghai province at 0230 GMT. It flew as high as 300 meters before returning to the launch after 50 seconds. However, they want to test a rocket which will complete at least a kilometer worth of journey sometime in the future.
Reliable, low-cost and frequent launches will be key, with recoverable or partially-recoverable rockets like the Falcon 9 from Elon Musk’s SpaceX one pathway to eventually affordable satellite deployment missions. - Reuters
SpaceX would be the first commercial space program to have used recoverable rockets. What SpaceX had done in 2017 urged superpowers like Europe, Russia, Japan, and China to speed up their research and develop the same technology of their own. Last month the company iSpace also was successful in delivering a satellite into orbit. iSpace is also interested in developing the technology which would allow them to use recoverable rockets within 2021. If they are successful in doing that the cost production will get reduced by 70% as estimated by iSpace.
LinkSpace is thinking about charging not more than 30 million yuan per reusable launch. This price, when compared to the cost needed for the launch of Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems Pegasus, which is between $25 million and $30 million, is only a fraction. The Pegasus is not reusable, and it is launched from a high-altitude aircraft. China is currently looking for commercial satellites which can offer services like high-speed internet for aircraft and can find rural areas to tracking coal shipments and commuter traffic.