A new Chinese startup is looking to develop its own reusable stainless steel rocket, apparently taking inspiration from SpaceX’s next-generation Starship vehicle.
Beijing-based Space Epoch closed an undisclosed angel round of funding in August with the ultimate aim of manufacturing and launching stainless steel. rocket. These rockets are powered by engines that burn a mixture of methane and liquid oxygen propellants. StarshipRaptors.
Space Epoch initially wants to develop a 210-foot (64-meter) high rocket capable of launching 14,330 pounds (6,500 kilograms) into a sun-synchronous orbit 684 miles (1,100 kilometers) high.
Related: SpaceX stacks Starship and Superheavy on launch pad before orbital test flight (pictured)
Therefore, new Chinese vehicles space xStarship — 394 feet (120 m) tall when fully stacked and capable of sending 110 tons (100 metric tons) into low earth orbit — but still a very ambitious and challenging endeavour. is.
Space Epoch already manufactures 3.0 and 4.0 meter (9.8 and 13.1 ft) diameter thin-walled stainless steel propellant tanks for rockets. The advance also lays the groundwork for the use of stainless steel in the construction of the entire rocket, according to the company.
The next step is to test the tank and rocket engine.The company is understood to be buying methane engines from another Chinese startup, an engine maker. Kyushu Cloud Building (opens in new tab)This means Space Epoch does not need to develop its own engine.
space epoch statement (opens in new tab) Targeting markets such as point-to-point transportation, space travel, space station construction, and deep space exploration, we hope to contribute to the demand for China’s national space infrastructure and launch capabilities.
China already has a number of launch start-ups, and new ones have emerged since the government’s policy shift in 2014 opened up the space sector to private capital.These include land, iSpace, galaxy energy, oriental space, deep blue aerospace (opens in new tab), space pioneer (opens in new tab), space transportation When link spaceThere is also space, Cass space A Chinese rocket that is a spin-off from a giant state-owned company.
Space Epoch is not only one of the newest of these companies, but it’s also trying something very ambitious.
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