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OneSpace launches nation's first private rocket | Updated: 2018-05-17 16:22
A model of Chongqing Liangjiang Star. [Chongqing Morning Post]

Elon Musk and his SpaceX company have been household names for a long time. In Southwest China's Chongqing, a private rocket producer, OneSpace Technology Company, is making an answer to SpaceX.

OneSpace's first self-designed and built commercial carrier rocket, Chongqing Liangjiang Star, saw its maiden flight finish at 7:33 am on Thursday in a test field in Northwest China. This was the nation's first launch of private carrier rocket.

OneSpace said this solid-fuel rocket is designed for suborbital flights in a bid to provide high-altitude research.

Entering the space industry always carries high costs, as it is closely related to military and national security, but privately-made carrier rockets will considerably reduce costs, shorten research and development cycles and promote industry development, said Hu Jianxin, a professor at the School of Aerospace Engineering at Chongqing University.

With strong control capacity, the rocket can be customized according to user requirements and fly in a variety of complex flight trajectories required for tests.

The rocket's biggest strengths are that it is "fast, convenient and flexible", Hu said, which allow it to be launched for emergencies such as natural disasters.

All the design work was completed by engineers born after 1985. It took them only one year to launch the rocket after the development phase began.

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