China launches rocket for commercial use
- China envisions constellations of commercial satellites that can offer services ranging from high-speed internet for aircraft to tracking coal shipments. Reliable, low-cost and frequent rocket launches will be key for that.
- Smart Dragon-1, whose research and development budget came from social capital rather than state funding, is a demonstration of China's drive to commercialise the rockets sector, where more private rocket firm are allowed to enter the market to compete with each other.
- Last month, Beijing-based iSpace became the first private firm to deliver a satellite into orbit on its rocket. Since late last year, two other startups have attempted to launch satellites but have failed.