China’s first Private Carrier Rocket OS-X Launches Countdown

OneSpace Technology, an enterprise in Liangjiang New District, Chongqing, held a press conference for the first flight of OS-X rocket. Reporters learned from the conference that the OS-X will blast off at a base in northwestern China on May 17 (the exact launch time may be fine-tuned according to the weather condition). The countdown has begun for the launch of the first rocket independently developed by China’s private commercial space enterprise.

It is understood that OS-X rockets use their self-developed solid-propellant rocket engines with an engine thrust of 350 kn, which can achieve flight speed of Mach 0 - 20 for customer’s payloads. OS-X rockets can also be flexibly equipped with various control mechanisms such as the gas rudder, the air rudder, attitude controlling engine and the like, and can be customized according to the needs of users to adapt to various complicated flight trajectories required for flight tests.

The reporter saw that this 9 meters-long rocket has a body painted with the Chinese characters saying “Chongqing Liangjiang Star” (“OS-X in Chinese”) and two curves surrounding the characters. The upper and lower two curve patterns respectively represent the Yangtze River and Jialing River, or “Chongqing liangjiang” (meaning two rivers in Chongqing). The two curves used the colors in the logo of Chongqing Liangjiang New District, informing people that this rocket is specially designed for the Chongqing Liangjiang New District.

Now the rocket has been transferred to the test site and preparations for the launch are underway. Once the preparation is completed, it will be blasted off at a base in northwestern China on May 17. It will also carry the school insignias of 10 top domestic aerospace universities and the logo of the “Flying Alliance”. After the pilot flight, this rocket will be mass produced at Liangjiang New District commercial rocket development base in 2019.

It is reported that OneSpace Technology is China’s first private enterprise with “carrier rockets and other spacecraft” written on its business license. It focuses on developing intelligent small carrier rockets.

It is founded in the Chongqing Liangjiang New District in December 2016, and established a joint venture in 2017 with Chongqing Liangjiang Aviation Industry Investment Group under the Liangjiang New District to jointly build China’s first private commercial base on aerospace intelligent manufacturing in Chongqing.

The base is located in the Aviation Industrial Park in the Liangjiang New District, with an initial investment of 250 million yuan and an area of 100 mu. There will build a research and development center, a digital intelligent manufacturing assembly center, a testing center, an aircraft control and simulation center and a special laboratory, with an annual output value of 1.5 billion yuan after delivery. The first phase of the base has already started construction on 50 mu and is expected to be put into operation within the year. It will have the ability to test and pilot 30 carrier rockets per year.

OneSpace Technology epitomizes the accelerated development of the aviation and space industry in the Liangjiang New District. In 2010, the state launched a pilot reform project on low-altitude airspace management. The Liangjiang New District seized the opportunity, started with the traditional aviation industry and treated it as a strategic emerging industry. In 2012, it established Chongqing Liangjiang Aviation Industry Investment Group to specialize in industry creation. Starting from 2015, the Liangjiang New District will turn its focus to the transportation and aviation industry in a broader sense. Under the guidance of the national industrial layout plan, the Liangjiang New District took a differentiated route with the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, actively engaged in transportation and aviation, and expanded the space industry. It has successfully introduced a number of advanced aerospace manufacturing projects such as aviation heavy components, aviation titanium alloy, engine blades, and aviation interior decoration.

Right now the “aerospace vehicle manufacturing + navigation operation + aviation finance” cultivated by the Liangjiang New District will contribute a new industrial chain worth tens of billions to Chongqing’s strategic emerging industries.