Mile­stone for China space push

The West Australian - - WORLD -

China has launched its first pri­vately de­vel­oped rocket from a launch­pad in north-western China, the lat­est mile­stone in the coun­try’s am­bi­tious space ex­plo­ration pro­gram.

Since com­ing to of­fice in 2012, Chinese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping has made be­com­ing a “space flight su­per­power” a top pri­or­ity for the Chinese Gov­ern­ment, which has a goal of send­ing a per­ma­nent manned space sta­tion into or­bit by about 2022.

The launch of the Chongqing Liangjiang Star rocket, de­vel­oped by OneS­pace Tech­nol­ogy, a pri­vate firm, marked the first time a non-state Chinese rocket had suc­cess­fully en­tered or­bit, the Xin­hua news agency said yes­ter­day.

The rocket was pow­ered by a solid-fuel en­gine de­vel­oped by OneS­pace and its con­trol sys­tems were cus­tomis­able in ac­cor­dance with user de­mand, the com­pany’s chair­man, Ma Chao, told Xin­hua.

It can place a 100kg load into or­bit 800km from the earth. It uses en­ergy-saving tech­nol­ogy, such as wire­less com­mu­ni­ca­tions in­stead of wired in­ter­net, and by cut­ting weight has helped lower fuel costs by about 30 per cent.

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