i-Space (Chinese company)

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i-Space[1] (Chinese: 星际荣耀; pinyin: xīngjì róngyào; lit. 'Interstellar Glory'), also known as Space Honor,[2] Beijing Interstellar Glory Space Technology Ltd.,[citation needed] Interstellar Glory[3] or StarCraft Glory[4] 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[2][5] 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.[6]

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).[4]


Suborbital rockets: Hyperbola-1S and Hyberbola-1Z[edit]

The Hyperbola-1S (also called SQX-1S),[7] and the Hyperbola-1Z (also called SQX-1Z),[8] 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).[7]

The first sub-orbital test flight of Hyperbola-1S took place from Hainan island on 5 April 2018 to an altitude of 108 km (67 mi).[9][5][4]

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).[10] 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.[11]


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.[12] It can launch 300 kg (660 lb) into low Earth orbit (LEO).[10] The rocket might be based on Chinese military missiles (perhaps DF-11 or DF-15).[13][14] The launch price is reported around US$5 million.[15]

Its successful maiden flight was on 25 July 2019, at 05:00 UTC from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.[6][13] It launched from a movable supporting platform.[15] It placed numerous payloads,[16] among them the CAS-7B amateur radio satellite,[17] into orbit 300 km (190 mi) above Earth. CAS-7B decayed from orbit 6 August 2019.[18] It was the first Chinese private company to achieve orbit (orbital launches of other private companies before had failed).[14]

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.[19] 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 first stage is equipped with grid fins.[20]


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.[20] The JD-1 engine made its first hot fire test in May 2020.[21]

Other developments[edit]

In May 2018, i-Space indicated they hoped to eventually develop a reusable sub-orbital spaceplane (Chinese: 亚轨道概念飞行器) for space tourism.[8][22][dead link]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "北京星际荣耀空间科技有限公司" [Beijing Interstellar Glory Space Technology Company Ltd.] (in Chinese). i-Space. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b Jones, Andrew (15 May 2018). "Chinese commercial launch sector nears takeoff with suborbital rocket test". SpaceNews. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  3. ^ https://spacenews.com/chinese-private-firm-onespace-fails-with-first-orbital-launch-attempt/
  4. ^ a b c "StarCraft Glory - Hyperbola". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  5. ^ a b Goh, Deyana (7 September 2018). "Chinese government launch site conducts first 2 commercial launches". Spacetech Asia. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  6. ^ a b "A private Chinese space firm successfully launched a rocket into orbit". 25 July 2019.
  7. ^ a b Nowakowski, Tomasz (6 September 2018). "Chinese startup launches three CubeSats into space". SpaceFlight Insider. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  8. ^ a b Sheldon, John (6 September 2018). "China's iSpace Successfully Launches SQX-1Z Sub-Orbital Rocket With CubeSats". SpaceWatch.Global. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  9. ^ Palec, Phenny Lynn (7 May 2019). "China's i-Space Attempts Private Orbital Launch In June". Business Times. Archived from the original on 1 July 2019. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  10. ^ a b ""双曲线一号S火箭"首飞成功!星际荣耀近期型谱计划出炉!(The Hyperbola 1-S Rocket Made Its First Flight Successfully! Interstellar Glory releases its future plans)". spaceflightfans.cn (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 8 April 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  11. ^ Lei, Zhao (5 September 2018). "Chinese private company launches satellites". China Daily. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  12. ^ "Hyperbola-1 (Hyperbola-1)". i-space.com.cn. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  13. ^ a b "Shian Quxian-1 (SQX-1, Hyperbola-1)". Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  14. ^ a b Clark, Stephen (25 July 2019). "Chinese private company reaches orbit for first time". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  15. ^ a b https://www.engineering.com/DesignerEdge/DesignerEdgeArticles/ArticleID/19431/Chinese-Private-Sector-Company-Launches-a-History-Making-Rocket.aspx
  16. ^ https://www.seradata.com/chinese-commercial-launch-firm-ispace-launches-cubesats-on-its-hyperbola-1-rocket/
  17. ^ "CAS-7B to launch July 25". AMSAT-UK. 8 July 2019. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  18. ^ "CAS 7B". N2YO.com. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  19. ^ "Chinese Hyperbola-1 rocket fails during its second launch". NASASpaceFlight.com. 1 February 2021. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  20. ^ a b entry on i-Space website
  21. ^ Jones, Andrew (5 June 2020). "Chinese private launch firms advance with methane engines, launch preparations and new funding". SpaceNews. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  22. ^ "PRODUCT". en.i-space.com.cn. Retrieved 30 May 2018.