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China launches first rocket developed by private company

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

today launched its first privately developed which travels 5.7 times faster than the speed of sound, marking an important milestone in the country's sector.

"Chongqing Liangjiang Star," which was launched this morning was developed by OneSpace, a Beijing-based private company with a in southwest China's

The nine-meter-long, 7,200-kg has a maximum altitude of 38.742 km and a top speed of more than 5.7 times the speed of sound, said Shu Chang, founder and of

Powered by a solid fuel engine developed by OneSpace, the can travel for around 5 minutes, or 273 kms and its control system can be customised to meet customer demands, state-run agency quoted Shu as saying.

The rocket is also equipped with and low-cost which allow the design of to be simplified, according to Shu.

"This is the first commercial rocket developed by our company," he said.

OneSpace, a Chinese is one of several firms vying for a slice of the global space industry, estimated to be worth about USD 339 billion by Lynch. US firms and dominate the sector at present.

The Chinese rocket was launched for OneSpace's customer under Aviation Industry Corporation of Ltd.

In 2014, issued a series of guidelines allowing private capital to enter into several key fields, including commercial exploration.

Established in August 2015, is China's first private company with a license to develop The company has two rocket series, the OS-X and the OS-M.

The former offers services for scientific research while the later will be used to launch small satellites.

"Our focus is on the small satellite market," said Shu, adding that many countries have a demand for satellite launches, but few are capable of making rockets.

"Commercial rockets are relatively more efficient and cheaper. We see great potential," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 17 2018. 17:15 IST