#SpaceWatchGL Column: Dongfang Hour China Aerospace News Roundup 29 March – 4 April 2021 – SpaceWatch.Global

As a part of the partnership between SpaceWatch.World and Orbital Gateway Consulting now we have been granted permission to publish chosen articles and texts. We’re happy to current “Dongfang Hour China Aerospace Information Roundup 29 March – four April 2021”.

Whats up and welcome to a different episode of the Dongfang Hour China Aero/House Information Roundup! A particular shout-out to our pals at GoTaikonauts!, and at SpaceWatch.World, each wonderful sources of house business information. Particularly, we propose trying out GoTaikonauts! long-form China reporting, in addition to the House Cafe collection from SpaceWatch.World. With out additional ado, the information replace from the week of 29 March – four April 2021.

1) Vital week from Chinese language business launch firms: Landspace, iSpace, JZYJ, CAS House

Jean’s Take

This week noticed quite a lot of updates from Chinese language launch firms, confirming that 2021 goes to be a landmark yr in Chinese language house.

  • At the start, we noticed Landspace, one in all China’s main business launch firms, test its TQ-11 methalox engine for 4000s, its longest run to this point (greater than 1 hour!). This follows a of checks which included: simulating completely different regimes of flight, mixing ratios, autogenous pressurization & thrust vectoring. The TQ-11 is the engine that shall be powering the upperstage of the ZQ-2 small to medium elevate reusable (sooner or later) rocket.
  • iSpace, a Landspace competitor and likewise one of many main personal launch firms, tested its Jiaodian-1 liquid methalox engine during a 500s test, throttling the engine considerably (50%-100%) to simulate vertical take-off vertical touchdown. The Jiaodian-1 powers iSpace’s Hyperbola-2 reusable rocket second stage (15t thrust). The Hyperbola-2 will carry out a primary “hop” a while this yr based on iSpace.
  • JZJY similarly did a first hot fire engine test for their Longyun engine, which the 80t methalox 1st stage rocket engine developed by the corporate, and goals to be reusable a number of instances. JZYJ is at an stage in comparison with iSpace and Landspace; this check appears to be one of many first sizzling hearth engine checks, aiming at verifying that the gasoline generator (“secondary circuit”) works properly with the remainder of the engine. This being the case, JZYJ can transfer to in-depth hot-fire checks sooner or later.
    Value noting, JZYJ is the engine manufacturing offering the engines for Linkspace’s RLV-T6 VTVL prototype (though it is going to use the lighter Lingyun engine, not the Longyun engine).
  • CAS Space trialed a small 23kg VTVL prototype for future sea-based launch and touchdown. The check was principally about testing the flight management traits: stability, robustness, horizontal and vertical actions. In an interview, Lian Jie of the CAS Institute of Mechanics Spaceflight Know-how Middle claims that the outcomes have been very promising, and CAS House was anticipating to lower the price of launch by 30% by means of VTVL, and launch cycles by 50% attributable to sea launch.
    Additionally value noting, the check passed off in Shandong, China’s most important launch base for sea launches, and from which the Lengthy March 11 sea launches have taken place to this point.

Blaine’s Take

Couple of small notes so as to add–JZYJ continues to energy alongside. Additionally recall a few weeks in the past throughout the announcement of 火箭派, the corporate famous that they’d an settlement for JZYJ for the Lingyun engine. Add this to their ¥100M spherical of funding from February, and you’ve got a wonderful Q1 for JZYJ.

Landspace’s video was well-done. Along with being easy, it confirmed a hell of an engine performing some very cool stuff. Added good touches included the informal “round 1 hour later” message earlier than displaying the engine nonetheless working because it was earlier than. We appear primed for a serious 2021 certainly for the Chinese language business launch sector.

That being stated, now we have one remaining launch replace this week, coupled with a number of different items of house information bundled right into a story from town of Wuhan, in Hubei Province. Jean, what’s occurring in Wuhan?

2) TV Report from Hubei Information on Wuhan house initiatives, and unique takeaways for Xingyun and Expace

Jean’s Take


Let’s begin with the much less groundbreaking information right here: the replace on launch. The report refers back to the heavy funding made by Expace, CASIC’s business launch -off, in constructing a digitalized industrial plant for batch-manufacturing Kuaizhou rockets, with cool shoots of four Kuaizhou rockets being assembled. The manufacturing fee of the manufacturing unit is designed for 20 Kuaizhou rockets a yr. The upcoming Kuaizhou-1A launch ought to be known as Xinzhou, named after the district in Wuhan the place the manufacturing unit is situated.


Maybe extra attention-grabbing (whereas barely weird), the report mentions Expace’s liquid-fueled rockets, and notably that the “new amenities, which can enter service within the second half of 2021, will improve Expace’s R&D capabilities for liquid-fueled rockets” (!). We certainly know from final yr that liquid-fueled rockets is one thing that Expace has been taking a look at, with a number of screenshots of a “Kuaizhou-2” rocket household arising.

Blaine’s Take

On Xingyun, CASIC’s business narrowband constellation, some attention-grabbing updates got here up as properly within the report. Notably:

  • Xingyun VP Zhang Yong confirmed {that a} subsequent batch of 6 Xingyun-Three satellites could be despatched into orbit earlier than the top of the yr, on-board a Kuaizhou-11 rocket. This really might signify a slight slip within the timeline beforehand introduced at CCAF and in different conferences in 2020, the place it was stated that LeoBit, the operator of Xingyun, would launch 2×6 satellites into orbit.
  • Curiously, the satellites are known as Xingyun-3, that means they’re a third technology of Xingyun satellites. In comparison with the earlier technology Xingyun-2 (2 satellites despatched into house on-board a KZ-1A LV in 2020), the Xingyun-Three have “very important technological upgrades”, and every particular person satellite tv for pc can “can “serve as much as 750 000 terminals, in comparison with 320 000 for earlier variations”.
  • That is admittedly self-serving hypothesis, however I imagine Xingyun is of elevated significance now relative to Hongyun and Hongyan, because of the clear acceleration of Starlink/the large improve within the measurement of the LEO megaconstellation enterprise. Xingyun, being a type of Chinese language Iridium, which is to say, a Chinese language model of a constellation that’s already in orbit, and that has a good enterprise (albeit one which did require one chapter to get there). Digressing, it’s a rose-tinted manner of taking a look at it, nevertheless it’s doable that the numerous upgrades implied by the identify “Xingyun-3” signify elevated significance of the Xingyun system.

One different small level on Expace, and the Wuhan Nationwide Aerospace Business Base extra usually–the extent of digitization and automation employed on the varied factories might show a type of testing floor for CASIC’s CASICloud industrial IoT service providing. That’s, if these firms are utilizing varied CASIC digital infrastructure from day 1, and doing very laborious, technologically rigorous issues, it may very well be use case to focus on as a promoting level of CASIC’s merchandise.

One remaining word–it’s doable that it’s simply me, however the virtual exhibition from the 2020 CCAF (only a few months in the past) seems to be again on-line (on CASICloud, after all). It appears to be restricted to Chinese language, however a treasure trove of knowledge for anybody talking Mandarin.

Extra studying on the Wuhan aerospace base: here

 3) Geely plans group-level house headquarters in Nansha, Guangzhou

Article in English, and Chinese

 Jean’s Take

Geely announced a couple days ago it could set up house actions within the southern metropolis of Guangzhou, in Nansha district.

To begin with, that is large. Geely is not only “organising some house subsidiary”: that is Geely, a hundred- RMB income group, establishing its total business house division headquarters in Guangzhou Nansha (将商业航天总部布局广州南沙).

The brand new entity, known as Shikong Tansuo, would function all Geely house subsidiaries: Geespace, Shanghe Aerospace, Xingkong Zhilian, and likewise apparently SpaceOK (!).

Mainly satellite tv for pc manufacturing, terminals, and constellations RocketSatelliteSatellite antenna

Undoubtedly value noting as properly, this can be a important win for Guangzhou and extra usually South China’s house business. The realm’s house actions are underwhelming in comparison with different areas comparable to Beijing, Shanghai, or Xi’an.

This south China technique of Geely intently tails Chinese language Academy of Sciences space-related entities (together with launch startup CAS House), which moved in massively in 2020. Thrilling instances for Guangzhou and Chinese language house.

Blaine’s Take

Stunning and attention-grabbing to see House-OK seemingly -in into the Geely House portfolio of firms. As now we have talked about on earlier DFHour episodes, the Normal Supervisor of GeeSpace’s Taizhou operations, Wang Yang, comes from House-OK, and the rent was seen as a sign that House-OK’s operations might have been beginning to wrap up.

One other level that was talked about by Twitter consumer Ilya Kharlamov was that there shall be wonderful transport between Nansha and Wenchang. As you’ll be able to see, Nansha is situated simply on the Pearl River Delta, mainly the mouth of the river simply because it flows out into the South China Sea. You’ll be able to see Nansha district in blue under:

The situation on the South China Sea may very well be strategically essential for an additional location–Wenchang. It’s a reasonably direct shot from the PRD to the japanese aspect of Hainan Island, and at round 600ish km, not too far of a visit. It’s not clear to what extent the rocket/satellite tv for pc actions in Nansha will certainly be linked to Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Website, however an attention-grabbing level.


This has been one other episode of the Dongfang Hour China Aero/House Information Roundup. Should you’ve made it this far, we thanks in your type consideration, and look ahead to seeing you subsequent time! Till then, don’t neglect to observe us on YouTube, Twitter, or LinkedIn, or your native podcast

Blaine Curcio has spent the previous 10 years on the intersection of China and the house sector. Blaine has spent a lot of the previous in China, together with Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Beijing, working as a advisor and analyst overlaying the house/satcom sector for firms together with Euroconsult and Orbital Gateway Consulting. When not speaking about China house, Blaine will be discovered studying about economics/finance, exploring cities, and taking images.

Jean Deville is a graduate from ISAE, the place he studied aerospace engineering and specialised in fluid dynamics. An extended-time aerospace fanatic and China watcher, Jean was beforehand based mostly in Toulouse and Shenzhen, and is at present working within the aviation business between Paris and Shanghai. He additionally writes frequently within the China Aerospace Blog. Hobbies embrace climbing, astrophotography, airplane recognizing, in addition to a tender spot for Hakka meals and (some) Ningxia wines.

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