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ZQ-1 rocket assembled in Xi'an, eyes Oct liftoff


Updated: 2018-09-27

China's first private-sector carrier rocket, "Zhuque-1" (ZQ-1), was successfully assembled and tested in Xi'an on Sept 25. It will be transported to the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center and is expected to be launched to the Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) satellite at the end of October.

ZQ-1 rocket assembled in Xi'an, eyes Oct liftoff

Technicians of Beijing LandSpace Tech Co work assemble ZQ-1. [Photo/xiancn.com]

ZQ-1 is a proprietary three-stage solid propellant rocket developed by Beijing LandSpace Tech Co. It is 19 meters tall with a 1.35-meter diameter, a takeoff mass of 27 metric tons and a thrust of 45 tons.

The rocket is flexible, cost-efficient and has been designed with advanced technology to be extremely responsive. It will mainly provide networking launch services for micro and cubic stars.

ZQ-1 completed the feasibility study of the program in November 2017 after initial and sample designs. If the launch goes smoothly, it will become China's first private carrier rocket to send satellites into orbit.

Established in June 2015, Beijing LandSpace Tech Co is the first private enterprise to engage in the research and development of carrier rockets, with a focus on related core technologies such as liquid engines, liquid attitude control and liquid power.

Liu Jian, deputy general manager of the company's R&D department, said that if the launch is successful, it will be a milestone for China's private aerospace industry and means that ZQ-1 has completed all the development and verification links, supply chain supporting links, and administrative approval links during the launching process.

The development of ZQ-1 is part of Xi'an's military-civilian integration strategy and exemplifies the strength of research institutes and private enterprises in Xi'an.

China has more than 60 private companies in the commercial space industry. They are growing fast and are competing to launch small satellites and rockets.

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