i-Space (Chinese company)
|Products||Launch service provider|
i-Space (Chinese: 星际荣耀; pinyin: xīngjì róngyào; lit. 'Interstellar Glory'), also known as Space Honor, Beijing Interstellar Glory Space Technology Ltd., Interstellar Glory or StarCraft Glory is a Chinese private space launch company based in Beijing and founded in October 2016. As of July 2019, i-Space has successfully launched the Hyperbola-1S and Hyberbola-1Z rockets into space on a suborbital flight and reached low Earth orbit with Hyperbola-1 on its maiden flight on 25 July 2019, became the first private company from China to have achieved orbit.
The company develops solid fuel small satellite orbital launchers. The main components of the company's rockets, e.g. solid propellant engines, are outsourced and produced by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CAST).
Suborbital rockets: Hyperbola-1S and Hyberbola-1Z
The Hyperbola-1S (also called SQX-1S), and the Hyperbola-1Z (also called SQX-1Z), are single stage, solid-fueled suborbital test rockets. The Hyperbola-1S rocket is 8.4 m (28 ft) long, with a diameter of 1 m (3 ft 3 in) and weighs 4.6 t (5.1 tons). The Hyperbola-1Z rocket has a diameter of about 1.4 m (4 ft 7 in), maximum design speed of 1.6 km/s (0.99 mi/s) and can reach altitude of 175 km (109 mi).
The second flight of i-Space was a commercial sub-orbital flight launched on 5 September 2018 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi desert, using the Hyperbola-1Z rocket. The sub-orbital flight reached an altitude of 108 km (67 mi) and a peak velocity of over 1,200 m/s (3,900 ft/s). It carried payloads from private Chinese satellite companies ZeroG Labs and ADA-space. The rocket delivered three CubeSat satellites one of which subsequently parachuted back to Earth.
The Hyperbola-1 (aka Shuang Quxian-1, SQX-1) (Chinese: 双曲线一号) rocket is 20.8 m (68 ft) tall, 1.4 m (4 ft 7 in) in diameter and weighs 31 t (34 tons). It consists of four all solid fuel stages, guided by liquid fuel attitude control engines. It can launch 300 kg (660 lb) into low Earth orbit (LEO). The rocket might be based on Chinese military missiles (perhaps DF-11 or DF-15). The launch price is reported around US$5 million.
Its successful maiden flight was on 25 July 2019, at 05:00 UTC from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It launched from a movable supporting platform. It placed numerous payloads, among them the CAS-7B amateur radio satellite, into orbit 300 km (190 mi) above Earth. CAS-7B decayed from orbit 6 August 2019. It was the first Chinese private company to achieve orbit (orbital launches of other private companies before had failed).
A second launch occurred on 1 February 2021, at 08:15 UTC (16:15 Beijing Time) from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center with 6 unidentified satellites but failed to reach orbit. The rocket was named "Tianshu" because its outer fuselage was covered with the artistic creations (images of compound made-up Chinese characters) of the contemporary artist Xu Bing.
The Hyperbola-2 (Chinese: 双曲线二号) rocket is a two-stage, liquid-fueled, reusable rocket to lift 1.9 tons into LEO. It uses liquid oxygen and methane as fuel. The first stage is expected to land propulsively in order to be reused. The JD-1 engine made its first hot fire test in May 2020.
- OneSpace, a Chinese company competitor
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- entry on i-Space website
- Jones, Andrew (5 June 2020). "Chinese private launch firms advance with methane engines, launch preparations and new funding". SpaceNews. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
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