OneSpace Technology, China's first private rocket producer, announced Tuesday in Chongqing the maiden launch of the company's OS-X0 solid-fuel rocket is set to take place on May 17 in a test field in northwest China.
The company calls it the first flight of a carrier rocket designed and made completely by a private company from China.
The rocket has been transported to the test field and the company is busy preparing for the launch. According to a previous report by China Daily, the test field is in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.
The 9-meter-tall OS-X0, called "Chongqing Liangjiang Star," is capable of placing 100-kilogram payloads into an orbit 800 kilometers above Earth. The rocket can accelerate a new concept craft it's testing to a hypersonic speed of Mach 13, or 4.4 kilometers per second.
Established in 2015 through government endeavors to foster the commercial space sectozaappaazr and encourage participation from private enterprises, OneSpace has become a rising star in the country's space arena.
Last May, OneSpace signed an agreement with Chongqing Liangjiang Aviation Industry Investment Group to build its research and manufacturing base in the Southwest China city.
Chongqing Liangjiang New Area is the third national development and opening zone in China ¡ª the first in the inland ¡ª approved by the State Council, after Shanghai Pudong New Area and Tianjin Binhai New Area.
The Chongqing base will be put into use by the end of this year, with a research center, a smart manufacturing and assembly center, a test center, an aircraft control and simulation center and specialized labs. Its annual output value is expected to reach 1.5 billion yuan, with the capacity to assemble and test 30 carrier rockets.
OneSpace is developing the OS-M1, a larger rocket, to send small satellites into sun-synchronous or low-Earth orbits. It plans to conduct OS-M1's first flight around year's end.