OrienSpace and Gravity-1 Hit Solid Fuel Record

11th Jan 2024
OrienSpace and Gravity-1 Hit Solid Fuel Record

On 10th January, Beijing-based startup OrienSpace achieved a milestone by successfully launching the most powerful rocket created by the Chinese private firm. This achievement signals a significant step into the domain of commercial launches, traditionally monopolized by state agencies in the country.

Successful liftoff of Gravity-1!

In a groundbreaking achievement for the Chinese private space sector, OrienSpace’s Gravity-1 rocket successfully lifted off from a ship off the eastern coast of Shandong province. The rocket deployed three advanced remote-sensing satellites into orbit, as announced in a recent statement by the company.

Established in 2020 by engineers from China’s state space agencies, OrienSpace had initially planned the debut launch of Gravity-1 for the latter half of 2023.

Why Gravity-1 is ‘the most powerful’ rocket?

The Gravity-1 rocket model showcases innovation with its three core stages and four boosters, all powered by solid-propellant motors and featuring flexible swinging nozzles. With a payload capacity of up to 6,500 kg (14,330 lb) into low earth orbit, it stands as the most potent launch vehicle developed by a private Chinese enterprise.

Notably, Gravity-1 has earned the distinction of being the world’s mightiest solid-fueled launch vehicle. It also claims the title of the most powerful privately developed rocket in China, boasting unique features such as side boosters and the country’s largest fairing, or nose cone, capable of housing payloads.

The successful debut of Gravity-1 opens the door for increased commercial satellite launches into low- and mid-altitude orbits within the burgeoning private sector. Orienspace’s CEO disclosed that the company had already secured orders for hundreds of satellite launches. Gravity-1, with its capacity to deploy up to 30 satellites in a single launch, positions Orienspace as a major player in the rapidly growing space market. The company also asserts its ability to organize launches in under seven days, and in some cases, even in 24 hours.

Launches from the sea platforms

A distinctive feature contributing to Gravity-1’s versatility is its ability to be launched from a mobile sea platform, expanding potential launch sites. This innovative approach aligns with China’s previous milestone of launching its first commercial sea rocket, the Long March 11, in 2020. The satellites deployed by Gravity-1, constructed by Changguang Satellite Technology, a state-owned enterprise in Jilin province, will be managed by Tianjin Yunyao Aerospace Technology for meteorological analysis, spatial environmental detection, and ground disaster research and prevention.

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