Tencent Technologies News, the American SpaceX company founded by Musk, has become a benchmark enterprise in the global private space field. SpaceX has implemented the reuse of launch vehicles for the first time, greatly reducing the cost of satellite launching, and is even preparing to transport human beings to Mars for settlement. According to the latest news from foreign media, SpaceX's great success has triggered a boom in private space entrepreneurship in China. More than 100 private space companies have emerged. They have launched rockets and services that are different from those of state-owned space companies.
According to foreign media reports, in early August, a private rocket carried out its third test in China, flew to an altitude of about 300 meters, stayed there for a minute, and then returned to the ground intact. The reusable rocket is not owned by SpaceX or Bezos Blue Origin. It's made up of a family called
Since the Chinese government approved private enterprises to enter the space industry in 2014, more and more start-ups have sprung up. There are about 100 now, compared with 30 in 2018.
Lingke Aerospace is the pioneer of this trend. Lingke Aerospace CEO Hu Zhenyu began testing rockets at the age of 20. He was only 21 when he founded the company in 2014, the first such private space company.
He believes that part of the reason why the industry is growing so fast is the involvement of young people.
These reusable rockets were developed as a completely independent new industry, without the involvement of the United States Government and almost without the involvement of the Russian Government from the beginning.
In July this year, the Chinese government issued new guidelines to give these enterprises a sense of direction. Regulators have set standards for companies that manufacture small rockets (or reusable rockets) to a height limit of less than 200 kilometres for research, manufacturing, testing, safety and technology. These restrictions and guidelines outline the types of companies under their jurisdiction and mention companies that manufacture small or medium rockets.
It is not clear whether these regulations directly attempt to prohibit anyone from developing larger rockets. At least for now, all Chinese space start-ups are developing ideas that complement what state-owned institutions are doing, rather than competing with them.
One of the key players in China's space startups is Blue Arrow Aerospace, a Beijing-based company born in Tsinghua University.
On October 27, 2018, Blue Arrow Aerospace launched the solid fuel orbit rocket for the first time.
Another private space company is Star Glory, which is also developing medium-sized rockets. Zhuhai Orbital Aeronautical Technology Co., Ltd. And Beijing Galaxy Space Internet Technology Co., Ltd. are also developing light rockets that send small payloads into orbit, sometimes weighing only 1.5 kilograms, to take pictures of the Earth and collect data.
Lincoln, who studies China's space capabilities and its foreign policy at Cornell University in the United States
It is reported that many start-ups hire people who used to work for state-owned space companies.
As in the United States, some startups are more willing to participate in or rely on the government than others, Han said. Some people are also working with provincial governments, not the central government.
Han Si said:
But Heins said China's private space industry is not transparent, but he said one of the more independent startups is Tianyi Research Institute, which works on microsatellites designed specifically for low-Earth orbit. It has received a lot of investment from private investors.
Yang Feng, CEO of Tianyi Research Institute, founded the company in 2016 when he was 34 years old. Since then, the company has completed four launches, the latest of which is putting four satellites into orbit.
Yang Feng's goal is to build a microsatellite network to provide services that large satellites cannot provide, while providing services in a more effective way than state-owned space agencies. His goal is to operate in low-altitude orbits that are not covered by large rockets built by the space agency.
Hans said that the relationship between state-owned enterprises and private enterprises is always vague, and there is no obvious difference between state-owned enterprises and private enterprises. Some of these companies may sign contracts with the government or outsource the manufacturing of their components to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), which has been a state-owned space agency since its establishment in 1999.
CASC makes most of Star Glory's rocket components, but Star Glory is still a private company.
One thing is clear: Chinese space startups will not serve the International Space Station in the short term. In addition, China has restrictions on the export of rocket technology.
For now, at least, the company is still targeting its home market.
Han Si said it is difficult to predict how much China's space industry will remain open in the future. He said: