China launches privately designed rocket

An OS-X rocket named “Chongqing Liangjiang Star” saw its maiden flight finish at 7:33 am on May 17 in a test field in Northwest China.

The launch of the “Chongqing Liangjiang Star” rocket, developed by OneSpace Technology, a Beijing-based private firm, marks the first time a non-state Chinese rocket has successfully entered orbit. The rocket is nine meters long and weighs 7,200 kilograms. It has a maximum altitude of 38.742 kilometers and a top speed of more than 5.7 times the speed of sound during its maiden flight which covered 273 kilometers and lasted 306 seconds.

The flight not only tested the X-series rockets´ functions, but also completed certain scientific research tasks, such as verifying drag reduction and heat reduction of pneumatic struts, which will help provide technical support for future product design. It also helped verify certain test conditions like maximum height (40 km) and Mach number (4-6). The success of the flight, meanwhile, proved the effectiveness of cooperation between higher-education institutions and companies, according to Shu Chang, founder and CEO of OneSpace.

Chongqing Liangjiang New Area is the third national new area directly approved by the State Council after Shanghai´s Pudong New Area and Tianjin´s Binhai New Area. It is also China´s first inland national open new area.