The members participated as trainees in the show Produce 101 before debuting as members of Rocket Girls 101 on 23 June. The group includes two Cosmic Girls members, Meng Meiqi and Wu Xuanyi, both from Yuehua Entertainment. They placed 1st and 2nd respectively. Yang Chaoyue (Wenlan Culture) and Duan Aojuan (Long Wu Tian Culture) placed 3rd and 4th respectively. Former The Rap of China contestant, Yamy (JC Universe Entertainment), placed 5th overall. Lai Meiyun (Qigu Culture), Zhang Zining (Mavericks Entertainment), Sunnee (K-L Entertainment), Li Ziting (Huaying Yixing), Fu Jing (Banana Entertainment) and Xu Mengjie (Zimei Tao Culture) placed 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th, in this order.
2018–present: Debut and contract controversy
On the day of their debut, they released the song "Rocket Girls". They made their first official TV appearance on "Happy China Graduation Music Concert 2018", which aired on Hunan Television the day after their debut. On August 9, two days before the group's official single release and press conference, Yuehua Entertainment and Mavericks Entertainment released a joint announcement stating that they would be withdrawing members Meiqi, Xuanyi, and Zining from the group. The announcement also stated that Yuehua decided to withdraw Meiqi and Xuanyi due to the inability to come to an agreement with the company managing Rocket Girls 101 regarding their concurrent promotion with Rocket Girls 101 and Cosmic Girls, and that Mavericks withdrew Zining due to health issues. 
However, on August 17 Yuehua and Mavericks both announced that the members would be returning to the group after coming to an agreement with Tencent, and stated that Rocket Girls 101' promotion would take priority over all members' original groups, unless agreements are reached.