China sees business in space

DURING initial tests of their 8.1-metre tall reusable rocket, Chinese engineers from LinkSpace (翎客航天), a start-up led by China’s youngest space entrepreneur, used a Kevlar
tether to ensure its safe return as a precaution.
But when the Beijing-based company’s prototype, called NewLine Baby (新航線小寶貝), successfully took off and landed in late April for the second time in two months, no tether
was needed.
The 1.5-tonne rocket hovered 40 metres above the ground before descending back to its concrete launch pad after 30 seconds, to the relief of 26-yearold chief executive Hu Zhenyu
(胡振宇) and his engineers – one of whom cartwheeled his way to the launch pad in delight.
LinkSpace, one of more than 15 of China’s private rocket manufacturers, sees these short hops as the first steps towards a new business model: sending tiny, inexpensive
satellites into orbit at affordable prices. Demand for these so-called ‘nanosatellites’ – which weigh less than 10 kilograms – is expected to explode in the next few years.
In the near term, China envisions massive constellations of commercial satellites that can offer services ranging from high-speed internet for aircraft to tracking coal
Universities conducting experiments and companies looking to offer remote-sensing and communication services, are among the potential domestic customers for nanosatellites.

(This article is published on Junior Standard on 06 May 2019)


Small satellite – Wikipedia