Linkspace of China Has Third Reusable Rocket Hop Test

LinkSpace, a chinese rocket launch startup, had its third reusable rocket hop test.

Linkspace CEO Hu Zhenyu said on Weibo that the 1.5-metric-ton rocket reached an altitude of 300 meters during a 50-second flight before making a powered descent and vertical landing with an accuracy of 0.07 meters.

There is a Youtube video of the test.

Linkspace will upgrade to a sub-orbital RLV-T6 tech demonstrator rocket and it will be able to fly to 62 miles of altitude.

A NewLine-1 orbital launcher is planned for 2021 and it will be able to take a 200-kilogram payload to 500 kilometer sun-synchronous orbit (SSO).

World of Reusable Rockets

In Reusable rockets we appear to have:
First Mover – SpaceX
Fast Followers – Blue Origin and Chinese Long March, China startups, Rocket Labs
Late Entrant – Europe

Rocket Labs announced plans to recover the first stage using parachutes and a helicopter catching the rocket.

China aims to recover the first stage of the Long March-8 carrier rocket, which is still under development and is expected to make its maiden flight around 2021, according to a Chinese rocket expert.

European Ariane is working on a reusable rocket engine called Prometheus and they created animation of the Themis reusable rocket design. They have a three-year study planned which lead to powerpoints and a report with design proposals.

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin is working towards reusable rockets and has had supersonic sub-orbital tests. Blue Origin has not launched any rocket to orbit despite starting before SpaceX. SpaceX has had about 75 successful launches delivering payloads to orbit for customers.

In May 2018, China startup i-Space said they would develop a reusable sub-orbital spaceplane for space tourism. Space Transportation is a launcher manufacturer which aims at developing reusable rockets for small payloads (100 – 1000 kg payload capacity on its Tian Xing – 1 rocket. China has a dozen rocket start-ups and almost all are aiming for the small payload range. Linkspace and iSpace started working on reusable rockets in 2014.

Space Transportation is looking at a gliding and a parachute system instead of SpaceX-style retropropulsive landing. SpaceX tried and failed to make parachutes work for stage recovery.

Chinese startups Space Transportation and LinkSpace are performing reusable rocket tests now. They are at the Advanced Grasshopper stage or the Blue Origin supersonic sub-orbital stage.

April 22, 2019, Space Transportation carried out a test April 22 in northwest China in cooperation with Xiamen University, launching a 3,700-kilogram technology demonstrator named Jiageng-1. The Jiageng-1 reaching a maximum altitude of 26.2 kilometers and a top speed of above 4,300 kilometers per hour. The rocket was recovered at a designated landing site.

SOURCES- Weibo Linkspace, iSpace, Linkspace, Rocket Labs, Blue Origin
Written By Christina Wong,

13 thoughts on “Linkspace of China Has Third Reusable Rocket Hop Test”

  1. This is technically true. If China disappeared tomorrow the disruption to the Earth’s surface, weather patterns and gravity would mess up all existing space programs.

  2. Hopping a rocket isn’t actually all that challenging. They couldn’t do that sort of thing during Apollo because the control electronics weren’t there, but at this point it’s advanced rocket hobbyist level. I mean that literally, at least one rocket hobbyist I’ve heard of did it with a model version of the Falcon. It’s a bit more difficult than building a quad copter from scratch.

    The challenge is doing it in a rocket that’s got a decent delta V, and cutting it close enough that you don’t use up all your margin before you hit the ground.

    But I expect the Chinese will solve that, too, and pretty quickly. They’ve got decent engineers AND excellent spies.

  3. I don’t like the way Blue Origin seems to be getting more and more in bed with the usual suspects, and behaving just like them.

    And this even before launching anything to orbit on their own. If this trend continues, they could become just another contractor sucking from the Congress’ teat.

  4. The more humans trying to get to space, the better. No matter who it is. If one country, or company fails, another can succeed.

    I hope more people from any part of the world strive to gain efficient, and affordable access to LOE, and beyond. Humans need to expand, explore, and gain new experiences to inspire others, and write the future history of the human race.

  5. True however the Commie game is “In the Long Run, Our Commies are better than Your Commies.” as evidenced by the bang-for-the-buck of the Soviet space program vs NASA in the post-Apollo era. If I were a ChiCom, the game I’d play against SpaceX is rather reminiscent of the way BlueOrigin has been getting into a “public private partnership” with the ULA Commies. Force SpaceX to cut out the privately capitalized technology development in exchange for lots of “help” from the government. Then grind them into the ground with grim eusocial excellence.

  6. When dealing with Chinese companies, youre not competing with a private company but an arm of the state. They dont have to worry about ROI or profitability but how beneficial for the state to take out competition and take over a market.

  7. My drink caught fire underway as I’m smoking and you own me an extremely expensive monitor.
    On the other hand I might just escaped it as its curves in all directors.
    Grips tail: at least some is doing something.
    Yes producing vacuum tubes in 1955 is an pararell.

  8. There was such a “private” company in the 1990s that did a “hop test”:

    Then why didn’t the DC-X turn into SpaceX or BlueOrigin?

    Because it wasn’t really private in the sense of paying for its own technology development as did SpaceX with the Falcon Heavy and now the “BFR” or whatever they’re calling it nowadays.

    So, where did the capital for LinkSpace really come from?

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