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Private space: what happens in China?
Material posted: Publication date: 16-09-2018
Technological entrepreneurship in China is gradually covering new spheres, and in areas such as AI technology, FINTECH, and even alternative energy, the country occupies a leading position. Another fast - growing sector of space technology. The momentum was set by the appearance on the market of SpaceX; enter the sector of private companies has greatly increased competition and potentially reduced the cost of launch.

The Chinese government has opened the doors to private companies only in 2014, giving a new generation of local entrepreneurs to join in a growing race. Previously, for the development of the space program answered a pool of state enterprises and institutions: CASC, CAST, CALT and CASIC. In December 2018 it is planned to make machine to landing on the back side of the moon, this is never been done. Also actively developing satellite navigation system - Beidou (北斗).

We can't not pay attention to a number of Chinese startups that have emerged over the last few years - at least 10 projects from 2014. Among the most interesting projects are:


ExPace, founded in 2016, immediately attracts attention by the size of investments - December 2017, it received $ 180 million in the course of the round A. However, the majority consider it "private" in name only, since it actually is a subsidiary of China Aerospace Science and Industry Co. (CASIC). The company specializiruetsya on the launches of small cargo rockets Kuaizhou-1 (快舟-1) of various modifications. However, the planned progressive increase in load capacity from 200 kg in 2013 to more than 20 tons on developed media Kuaizhou-11 and Kuaizhou-21.

One Space

Founded in 2015, the company OneSpace is considered one of the leading space start-UPS of China. It is not entirely clear how much the company raised investment: Crunchbase reports on the two rounds and $75 million, while SpaceNews and Global Times talking about $116 million over 4 rounds. Less reliable source (SpaceTech Asia) said about $350 million, which is likely an exaggeration. Definitely, during the B round, which was held in the summer of 2018, the company was able to raise $44 million In may One Space has launched the first suborbital rocket, and by the end of the year plans to launch a larger media - OS-M1. The stated goal is improvement and optimization of the output of a series of small satellites into orbit. At this rate, the startup makes use of solid rocket motors is the oldest rocket technology that was used by the Chinese in the 13th century.


Company Space Honor (or iSpace) is based in Beijing. It is noteworthy that in July, during round A, the project has attracted more than $90 million from such “whales” of the Chinese market, as Baidu and Didi Chuxing. In April, the team managed to a height of more than 62 miles (above the line of the Pocket) solid-fuel rocket Test was the first step in preparation for the launch next summer of carrier Hyperbola-1 (assuming that the rocket will be powerful enough to launch into space about 600 pounds). In further plans - Hyperbola-3, which can carry 4500 pounds already.


Another Chinese project is Landspace, which attracted in the course of round B in April to $31.7 million, the Company focused on the development of a rocket in which liquid fuel mixture is to use methane. Landspace is committed to ensuring that the missile came not only economical, but also reusable (it obesitythe the aspiration by 2035, to do everything reusable rockets). To launch the media Landspace will be ready by 2020. Solid fuel will appear in the middle of autumn.

Link Space

Link Space was founded in Beijing in the first year of a private development space in 2014. Precise information about the financing of the project could not be found, but the founder of the project managed to sell 16% stake in the project for 16 million yuan (about 2.3 million dollars). Like SpaceX, Link Space relies on the development of affordable reusable rocket technology. According to the Astro Watch, the media Line 1 will be used primarily to launch small satellites (less than 450 pounds) into orbit for about half of the cost of new missiles. The first flight took place in July 2016. However, after this special information about the success of the project has not yet been reported.


Founded in 2016, the project Spacety - manufacturer of commercial satellites, collected in early summer 2018 $22 million Over the past two years the company has managed to launch four small satellites, and has conducted more than 10 scientific experiments, including a project with the Israeli-Swiss running SpacePharma. Spacety States that by 2020 will be able to bring it down to launch up to 100 satellites (like shown in the picture) a year.


Another startup from Beijing, focused on the development of space technologies - Commsat Technology Development. During the February round of A project managed to raise at least $16 million, but only went through three rounds of investment. In the coming years the company plans to launch at least 60 satellites for data collection and maintenance services, and overall aims to deploy a network of up to 800 satellites. It is planned that the satellites will be used for telecommunication purposes.


According to analysts ' expectations, the industry will develop quite quickly. Investments are still modest, particularly given the capital-intensive nature of space exploration. Still, the giants like Tencent or Alibaba paid on the industry is not much attention, however, it may well be that the situation will change soon - when companies understand the benefits of a private telecommunication networks. It seems that in the near future we will witness a shift in the balance of power in launching satellites in China.


Tags: China , space

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