Chinese launch companies are developing new, larger launchers; asteroid mining startup receives angel round funding.
Chinese private launch firm LandSpace has completed assembly of a liquid methane-liquid oxygen rocket engine for its new Zhuque-2 launch vehicle.
Landspace suffered an issue with the third stage of its Zhuque-1 solid launch vehicle Saturday as it bid to become the first Chinese private launch company to reach orbit.
At a news conference on the opening day of the International Astronautical Conference in Bremen, Germany, Landspace said it will launch the Zhuque-1 three-stage solid-propellant rocket near the end of October, with the exact date to be decided.
Chinese private launch vehicle maker OneSpace has secured $43.6 million in Series B financing as the company looks to its first orbital launch near the end of 2018.
Emerging private Chinese company Landspace is set to launch its first rocket into orbit in the final quarter of 2018, carrying a small satellite for a state television company.
Landspace says it has designed a methane- and liquid-oxygen-powered rocket it aims to test launch in 2020.
It is still early days for this emerging sector, but 2018 will be the year that Chinese commercial launch companies begin to take off.