(From Popular Science)
Private Chinese companies could launch microsatellites one day, taikonauts
By Jeffrey Lin and P.W. Singer
While SpaceX is leading the charge of private space companies in the United States, a new generation of Chinese start ups are entering the space race, backed by universities and hedge funds. The key difference is that these firms are starting small, focusing mostly on the goal of launching microsatellites.
First up is Onespace, founded in June 2015, with support from the National Defense Science and Industry Bureau. Their flagship rocket is a 59 ton space launch vehicle with a launch date of 2018. It is designed to place a 500kg payload in low Earth orbit. Onespace hopes to launch microsatellites at a cost of 100,000 yuan per kilogram (or $6,500 per pound). They plan on displaying a rocket model in the Zhuhai 2016 Airshow, and completing a prototype by late 2017. Onespace also has ambitions eventually to build a manned space capsule.
Landspace Technology is founded by alumni from the storied Tsinghua University. Their ultimate goal is to build a medium space launch vehicle for manned and unmanned use. Their target markets are microsatellite launches for European and Southeast Asian countries. Landspace Technology also offers a wide range of related space services, including insurance, satellite design support, and supply chain management. Read more