SQX-1 StarCraft Glory - Hyperbola
Beijing Interstellar Glory Space Technology Ltd., also known as iSpace or StarCraft Glory, launched an unnamed payload using a Hyperbola-1 four-stage rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. iSpace’s Hyperbola-1 launch vehicle was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, Gansu Province, northwest China, on 25 July 2019, at 05:00 UTC. StarCraft Glory was established in October 2016 and is headquartered in Yizhuang, Beijing. The "iSpace" nomenclature is ambiguous, since this name is also used by a totally unrelated Japanese company working on "construction of a cosmic-scale sphere of life that will support humankind" competing for the Google Lunar XPRIZE.
Beijing Interstellar Glory Space Technology Ltd. plans to provide launch vehicle launch service solutions for the global small satellite market. In January 2019, StarCraft Glory completed the A+ round of financing. iSpace is one of the more prominent of the Chinese launch startup scene, and has boosted its prospects by securing just over $100 million in series A funding from Matrix Partners China, CDH Investments, tech giant Baidu and others. The accumulated financing amount is currently over 700 million yuan, of which the investors include the company's founder Lei Jun's Shunwei Capital.
On April 5, 2018, StarCraft glory first flew the "Hyperbola 1S" suborbital rocket with a flying height of 108 kilometers. This is the first rocket to be launched into the private rocket company. On September 5, 2018, the StarCraft Glory suborbital rocket "hyperbolic 1Z" was launched with three cubic stars at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.
Similar to the previous efforts, the iSpace launch vehicle has three solid stages with a liquid-propellant fourth stage. The main components of this rocket, ie solid propellant engines for example, are all provided a priori by CASC, builder of Long March rockets. For a start-up founded in 2015, this way of doing things allows StarCraft Glory to free itself from the heavy and long-term investments in developing a new launcher from scratch. The strategy is purchasing key components off the shelf from a reliable historical player and then assembling them and making a successful first flight. This could create confidence in future prospects and attract others Financial investors subsequently, to be a wise choice for this kind of business. This was the same path chose by Orbital Sciences Corporation in the United States in the early 1990s.
The four-stage solid-orbiting launch vehicle developed by StarCraft will carry seven payloads and will enter the national launch site in late May 2019. The carrier rocket has a total length of 21 meters and a take-off mass of 31 tons, carrying seven payloads. It will be a carrier rocket with the biggest capacity ever independently designed by a Chinese private enterprise. A successful launch will mark the first orbital launch by Chinese private enterprises.
In addition to this launch, this year's StarCraft Glory will also take the opportunity to launch 1-2 launches of the launch vehicle. Beyond Hyperbola-1, the company is developing the Hyperbola-2, 2.5-meter-diameter, 38-meter-tall launch vehicle powered by liquid-methane and liquid-oxygen engines. Hyperbola-2 is expected to be capable of lifting 1,900 kilograms to LEO and will have a maiden flight after 2020. At the end of March iSpace performed successful joint tests of a turbopump and secondary systems for a 15-ton thrust methalox engine named JD-1.
The so-called sub-orbital rocket refers to a type of rocket capable of flying in a sub-orbital space to perform specific tasks. It generally travels at an altitude of 30 to 200 kilometers from the Earth. This altitude is at the highest altitude of the existing commercial aircraft and the satellite is in orbit. Between the lowest orbital height of the flight. Because the flight speed did not reach the first cosmic speed of 7.9 kilometers per second, such rockets could not be in orbit, including the inability to send satellites into low Earth orbit. The launch vehicle is a space vehicle consisting of multi-stage rockets that can deliver payloads such as satellites, manned spacecraft, space stations and space probes into a predetermined orbit. After the mission was completed, the launch vehicle was abandoned.
Launch firm iSpace in June 2019 will attempt to become the first Chinese private company to place a satellite in orbit, following failed launches by two competitors. The launch vehicle would be transferred to Jiuquan, northwest China, near the end of May in preparation for the mission. The launch will be the third attempt by a Chinese private launch company to achieve orbit, following launches from LandSpace Technology Corporation and OneSpace Technology Co., Ltd. The first attempt came in October from Landspace, when an issue with the third stage meant a loss of attitude control and the loss of the payload into the Indian Ocean. OneSpace in March suffered a problem with a velocity gyroscope shortly after firing of the second stage. Chinese launch startups began emerging following a government policy shift in late 2014 which opened the launch and small satellite sectors to private capital.
A commercial carrier rocket developed by Beijing-based i-Space lifted off from a satellite launch center in the inland province of Gansu on 25 July 2019. The Chinese company successfully launched a transport rocket into orbit for the first time as a private sector attempt in the country. The rocket reportedly sent two satellites into orbit at an altitude of 300 kilometers as planned. The 20-meter-long rocket is capable of carrying a payload of up to 260 kilograms.
An executive at i-Space called the launch a major first step for the development of China's satellite launch business. Another official reportedly said that the only difference between i-Space and US venture firm, SpaceX, is not technological capability but business maturity, and i-Space will catch up and overtake the US rival someday.
Application of private sector technology for military use is part of China's national strategies. Analysts suspect i-Space, formally a firm in the private sector, is believed to have received support from China's military and government in areas including hiring engineers and using a launch facility.
The 03 August 2021 flight test of the third Hyperbola-1 commercial carrier rocket was unsuccessful. Abnormal performance was identified during the flight of the rocket, which lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 3:39 p.m. (Beijing Time). The satellite, carried by the rocket, did not enter orbit as scheduled. After the analysis and interpretation of telemetry data, the rocket's first, second, third, and fourth-level solid engines, The liquid attitude and orbit control power, navigation guidance and control work normally, the attitude is stable throughout, the separation between various levels and the separation of stars and arrows are normal, and the flight sequence is basically the same as the theoretical sequence. Because the fairing was not properly separated, the satellite could not be sent to the 500-kilometer SSO scheduled orbit, and the flight test failed to achieve the expected goal. This launch further verified the correctness of the overall plan of the Hyperbola-1 rocket, obtained effective flight data, and accumulated valuable experience and lessons.
The research team located the problem in an investigation lasting more than 100 days after the unsuccessful launch. The August failure was the second consecutive failure of this rocket type in less than six months, following a first one on February 1. The firm said in a statement that during the final assembly process, the silicone rubber in parts of the fairing adhered to the windshield, resulting in the fairing not being separated, which led to the failure of the flight test.
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