Galactic Energy, a Chinese private aerospace firm, launched its 8th Ceres 1 rocket on Friday, successfully delivering Jilin 1 Kuanfu 02 A satellite to its pre-empted orbit. Photo Courtesy of Galactic Energy
The Chinese aerospace firm Galactic Energy has launched its eighth Ceres 1 rocket, the latest effort by a Chinese private firm to enhance its capabilities in rocket research and development R&D and launches. The launch by Galactic Energy was the third launch within 35 days and the eighth successful flight for the rocket model. The launch successfully sent Jilin - 1 Kuanfu 02 A satellite, self-developed by Chang Guang Satellite Technology Corp, to its preset orbit. Following the launch, it will continue to accelerate the networking process of the Jilin 1 satellite constellation, and expand large-scale, high-resolution remote sensing information resources of Jilin-1), which can provide richer remote sensing data and product services for land and resources census, smart city, agriculture and forestry development and other fields. The Jilin - 1 is China's first commercial remote sensing satellite system, with a self-developed commercial remote sensing system. The satellites are operated by Chang Guang Satellite Technology Corp based in Jilin Province, Northeast China, and are named after the satellite's name. So far, the Ceres 1 rocket has to date served 15 commercial satellite clients, sending 29 satellites into orbit that offer support for Earth observation, meteorological monitoring, popular science education and others, the company said in a statement to the Global Times. Galactic Energy has aims to complete a land-based launch and then one sea-based launch in the period soon to come, a PR representative from the firm told the Global Times. High-density launch is the process for a rocket company to take their products from the lab to large-scale production. prior to Friday's launch, the Beijing-based start-up had achieved seven consecutive launches following its debut flight in November 2020 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwest China. Ceres 1 is a four-stage launch vehicle created by Galactic Energy. The first, second and third stages of a solid engine are used, while the advanced liquid upper stage is the fourth. SpaceX is also working on R&D for liquid rocket technology. In June, the company announced that the Pallas 1, a larger, reusable liquid-propellant rocket model, has completed the interstage separation test, verifying the correctness of the separation scheme. Private firms, a growing force in propelling the nation's space industry, are rethinking their efforts to foster capabilities to meet market demand. With consecutive successful launches, they are entering a new R&D cycle and accelerating the pace of shaping their commercialization loop, experts said. Chinese private firms, especially those established as the first-generation start-ups in 2015, are now at the ascending period, said Lan Tianyi, founder of Beijing-based Ultimate Blue Nebula Co, a space industry consultancy. Over the past few years, they have demonstrated robust innovation capabilities and potential and have become an important force in promoting China's commercial space sector, he said. The year 2023 is also expected to feature more significant launch events in the commercial space sector than in the past few years. In July, LandSpace, another private rocket startup, launched the world's first liquid oxygen, liquid methane carrier rocket from Jiuquan, a landmark move that has elevated China in the world's space race for methane-based rockets.