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CAS Space expands into Guangdong with new rocket engine testing complex
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CAS Space expands into Guangdong with new rocket engine testing complex
by Simon Mansfield
Sydney, Australia (SPX) Dec 05, 2023

CAS Space, a prominent Beijing-based rocket company under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, marked a significant milestone on Saturday with the commencement of construction on a new rocket engine testing facility in Guangdong province. This facility, the first of its kind in this economically vibrant region, represents a crucial step in the expansion of China's space capabilities.

Situated in Aotou township, Guangzhou, the provincial capital, the testing complex is poised to play a pivotal role in the research and development of liquid-fueled rocket engines. Recognized as a construction priority within Guangdong, this project aligns with the province's broader goals to bolster its space technology sector. Despite its global standing as a leading industrial base, Guangdong had not ventured into spacecraft research or production until recently. The province welcomed its first rocket production site only in October 2020, when CAS Space began developing a rocket plant in Guangzhou's Nansha district.

The groundbreaking ceremony, attended by local officials, CAS Space executives, and representatives from construction contractors, underscored the collaborative spirit fueling this venture. Once operational, the complex will enable comprehensive testing of liquid-fueled engines with a maximum thrust of 200 metric tons and integrated liquid-propellant propulsion systems capable of a top thrust of 400 tons. These capabilities are essential for advancing the design and reliability of liquid-fueled carrier rockets, which offer greater control and efficiency compared to their solid-fueled counterparts.

Additionally, the facility will not operate in isolation. CAS Space has announced plans to open it to domestic institutes, universities, and enterprises, fostering a collaborative environment for innovation in rocket technology. This open-access approach signifies a broader trend within China's space industry, emphasizing collective advancement and resource sharing.

The selection of Guangzhou as the site for this facility is strategic. The city's robust manufacturing sector and comprehensive supply chain promise high production efficiency, a vital factor in the demanding field of space technology. This decision aligns with CAS Space's objective to establish a complete cycle of testing and manufacturing for liquid-fueled engines in Guangzhou, thereby meeting the growing demands for the company's rockets.

This development is not just a new chapter for CAS Space but also a landmark moment for Guangdong's space industry. Until the construction of CAS Space's rocket plant in Nansha, the province had not been directly involved in spacecraft production. The completion of the first construction phase of the 40-hectare complex in January, which now boasts an initial annual production capacity of 30 rockets, marked a significant leap forward. The second of CAS Space's ZK 1A rocket type, constructed at the Guangzhou plant and launched successfully in June at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, was a testament to Guangdong's emerging prowess in the space sector. This launch, which successfully delivered 26 satellites into space, was a historic first for a rocket made in the province.

The establishment of the rocket engine testing facility in Guangzhou is more than just an expansion of CAS Space's operational footprint; it is a reflection of China's determined stride towards becoming a global leader in space exploration and technology. As the facility progresses towards completion, it stands as a symbol of innovation, collaboration, and the burgeoning potential of Guangdong province in the realm of space technology.

Based on a Xinhua News Agency article

Related Links
CAS Space
The Chinese Space Program - News, Policy and Technology
China News from SinoDaily.com

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