Chinese private rocket firm completes milestone launch
Published: May 31, 2024 07:11 PM
Ceres-1 Y12 lifts into the sky on May 31, 2024. Photo: Courtesy of Galactic Energy Co

Ceres-1 Y12 lifts into the sky on May 31, 2024. Photo: Courtesy of Galactic Energy Co

Chinese private rocket startup Galactic Energy Co announced Friday that its solid-fueled launch vehicle Ceres-1 Y12 has successfully launched into the space, carrying five satellites into an orbit 535 kilometers above the Earth.

Marking a milestone moment, the launch is preceded by a sea launch in the Yellow Sea off the coast of East China's Shandong Province on Wednesday, marking the shortest interval between two commercial launches ever achieved by a Chinese private aerospace firm.

The event demonstrated the vast potential and broad scope of the Chinese commercial aerospace market, according to a statement sent to the Global Times by Galactic Energy Co on Friday.

So far, Galactic Energy Co has successfully sent 44 commercial satellites of various types into orbit.

Chinese experts said the shortened interval between launches indicates a growing capacity of Chinese commercial space companies in the catchup game with industry leaders such as the SpaceX in the US.

China's commercial Kuaizhou rockets, developed by the state-owned space giant China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation, realized launching two rockets from the same launch center within six hours in December 2019.

The scale of China's commercial space market has maintained rapid growth since 2015 with an expected annual growth rate above 20 percent from 2017 to 2024. It is estimated that the market size will reach 2.34 trillion yuan ($326 billion) in 2024, according to market research firm iiMedia Research.

Global Times