Private Chinese space company aims to rival SpaceX with a reusable rocket by 2021

Private Chinese space company aims to rival SpaceX with a reusable rocket by 2021

i-Space, a Bejing-based space company, showed off its reusable rocket, Hyperbola-2,  for the first time in public last week. According to reports from the Chinese media, the firm aims to launch it into space in 2021. 

The rocket uses liquid oxygen-methane propellants, and its primary stage can be used again for other launches. The company claims this reusability reduces the cost of rocket production by 70 percent.

It has a payload capacity of 1.9 ton, and it can contain small and medium-sized satellites. The Hyperbola-2 is 28 meters long and has a takeoff weight of 90 tons. It is designed to launch satellites into the Lower Earth Orbit (LEO).

Credit: Xinhua

Currently, Elon Musk’s Space X is the only company with operational reusable rockets, called the Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy. Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin also has a reusable rocket called the Blue Shephard, but it’s still in a prototype stage.

This means small-time Chinese companies can afford to launch satellites at a lower cost. A survey released by Frost&Sullivan earlier this year, suggests the small satellite market can reach a cap of $69 billion by 2030. No wonder i-Space wants to launch various satellites from imaging to research in this range.

Read next: Ethereum had a less than stellar Q3, intense 6 months ahead as ETH 2.0 looms — here's what happened

Corona coverage

Read our daily coverage on how the tech industry is responding to the coronavirus and subscribe to our weekly newsletter Coronavirus in Context.

For tips and tricks on working remotely, check out our Growth Quarters articles here or follow us on Twitter.