China Copy of SpaceX Super Heavy Starship is in Video and Powerpoint

SpaceX presented a version of a fully reusable two-stage Super Heavy rocket in 2016. It was the Interplanetary Transport System.

China has now presented a video of a fully reusable two-stage super-heavy rocket.

China’s video is more cartoonlike. China will have to upgrade its rendering for a more photorealistic video.

You can compare the videos.

China is almost at the stage where SpaceX was in 2016. SpaceX first achieved a successful landing and recovery of a first stage in December 2015. The first re-flight of a landed first stage occurred in March 2017. China has other rockets that actually launch and China and Chinese startups are working towards recovering the booster stage. China is planning a first-stage recovery test for a Long March 8 by the end of the year.

China now has presented an aspirational video for full reusability.

There is also the more important matter of actually making fully reusable rockets, but I guess baby steps.

At least China’s space agency and space startups have the aspiration of copying SpaceX. Ariane and the European Space Agency are still working on their powerpoint and they have funded a study to determine how much they want to copy SpaceX. Europe may present a powerpoint of their Working Group in September. It is unknown if Europe will fully commit to fully reusable rockets as a goal. It is unknown if Europe will also have made an animated video of a fully reusable rocket. China appears to be five months ahead of Europe in PowerPoint animations of fully reusable rocket copies of SpaceX.

SpaceX is readying to launch Starship prototype SN15 and has stacked the super-heavy booster BN1 for ground tests.

China has said they are targeting 2030 for the first test launch of a super-heavy rocket.

The video from China has an electromagnetically launched space plane as well.

SOURCES- Weibo, SpaceX, ESA, China CATL
Written by Brian Wang,

12 thoughts on “China Copy of SpaceX Super Heavy Starship is in Video and Powerpoint”

  1. Nice Power Point ship. But despite their copying and stealing and espionage what are they going to do about the biggest challenge they will face? The problem that their copy will be "Made in China"…….

  2. The perfect example is of large oceanic vertebrate predators.

    Sharks. Ichthyosaurs, Dolphins, Whales, Barracuda… they are all independently evolved animals, often with lineages that separated over a 1/4 billion years ago, and have gone through completely different shapes in their evolutionary history… but they ended up looking nearly the same.
    Why? Were they spying on eachother? Or just being pushed by the same evolutionary pressures because they were trying to do the same job in the same environment.

  3. Emulation is the highest form of flattery.

    I anticipate that the system will able to fly, but have inferior characteristics. Also by the time they bring this to market, SpaceX will have demonstrated reliability and cemented market share.

    Concordski, all over again.

  4. That's not where the difficulty is, though, is it? The difficulty is in getting engines and structures operating right at the edge of failure, (Because you can't afford the mass to give them decent margins.) to be reliable.

    It's the details of how that was accomplished that espionage gets you. Not the general proportions, height, engine thrust, which are things any rocketry nerd can calculate on the back of an envelope.

  5. IT is in the best interest of people to protect their individual freedom to choose, freedom to express, challenge and criticize without fear of government prisons, losing a job, prevented to get a job, silenced. And news, media, internet freedom without government auditing, hiding deleting and defacing the truth. I hope the west will always stay on top for the protection of these freedom.

  6. Surely if we are comparing videos of fictional space ships then George Lucas and Gene Roddenbury are way, way out in front?

  7. Brian, your best written line ever: "China appears to be five months ahead of Europe in PowerPoint animations of fully reusable rocket copies of SpaceX."

    Love it!

  8. I am not sure that everything boils down to copies and espionage: if the design is motivated by physics and hard engineering problems there are not that many viable solutions. High speed trains, commercial planes, even the hull of the ships are all designed to minimize drag and not necessarily they are all copies, they are converging solutions to the same problem. If your plan is to create a reusable rocket probably there are not that many different designs either in the range of payload, engine trust and materials available

  9. China has copied United Launch Delta rockets. China has been working on copying Boeing and Ariane for narrow and wide body commercial jets for decades. China can copy but the copying process is not always easy or fast. We will see how long it takes them to get to first stage reuse Falcon 9 consistent recovery and reuse.

  10. Personally, I don't mind China copying Starship.

    If they manage to copy it and make it work, they earned it.

  11. Now that's a burn.

    Seriously, though, with China's capacity for industrial espionage, assisted by their serious penetration of the US government, they don't have to do it all on their own. They can just reuse a lot of SpaceX's work, while having their compromised regulators slow down the competition.

    They're also aided by the fact that, as a command economy, they can push things faster than is really cost effective, and just pay the price somewhere else. Toilet paper production, maybe.

    So, I wouldn't totally count them out. They might not get out ahead of SpaceX, but they'll soon be hot on their heels.

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