Chinese private firm launches first space rocket

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BEIJING: A suborbital rocket was launched into space Thursday by a start-up in China’s burgeoning commercial aeronautics industry, as private firms snap at the heels of their dominant American rivals.
OneSpace, the Beijing-based start-up behind the launch, is one of dozens of Chinese firms jostling for a slice of the global space industry, estimated to be worth about $339 billion by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and currently dominated by US firms SpaceX and Blue Origin.

Its nine-meter (30-foot) “Chongqing Liangjiang Star” rocket took off from an undisclosed test field in China’s northwest and reached an altitude of 273 kilometres (170 miles) before falling back to Earth, the company said in a statement.

The launch aimed to demonstrate an early working model of the company’s OS-X series of rockets, designed to conduct research linked to suborbital flights.

By the end of the decade OneSpace expects to build 20 of the OS-X rockets, which would be capable of placing 100-kilogramme…

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