Chinese private space startup LinkSpace successfully completed a third vertical takeoff and vertical landing test of a rocket, taking a step further in its development of a recyclable orbital rocket — the largest and most advanced reusable rocket in China.
The RLV-T5 rocket flew to a designated height of 300 meters and then safely landed on the designated area, according to a release the company sent to the Global Times.
With a total length of 8.1 meters and a diameter of 65 centimeters, RLV-T5 has a takeoff weight of about 1.5 kilograms.
“This is a new milestone in China’s reusable rocket research,” Wan Mei, vice president of LinkSpace, told the China News Service.
The release stated that the new rocket can be reused multiple times and has other advantages such as low test cost and a capability of rapid iteration.
The launch at LinkSpace’s launch base in Lenghu Town, Mangya City, northwest China’s Qinghai Province, also successfully tested several other key technologies for reusable rockets, including new ignition and launching technology, and technology of parallel connection of multiple engines.
The company announced a project of a newer reusable rocket, RLV-T6, on the same day. The forthcoming 14-meter-long rocket can be launched more than 100 times a year, after the technology is fully prepared and perfected, according to the report.
LinkSpace is China’s first private company that has the objective of researching and developing aerospace system products.
The company launched its first rocket in October 2018, named ZQ-1 and carrying a small satellite for State broadcaster China Media Group.
Since 2014 the Chinese government encouraged the participation of private enterprises in the space industry. The country now has more than 60 private companies in the commercial space industry.