24/7 Space News
SQX-2Y rocket demonstrates vertical take-off and landing capabilities
iSpace engineers prepare the company's first orbital carrier rocket in July 2019. Photo: Courtesy of iSpace.
SQX-2Y rocket demonstrates vertical take-off and landing capabilities
by Simon Mansfield
Sydney, Australia (SPX) Nov 06, 2023

In a significant step for China's burgeoning commercial space sector, a new reusable rocket has achieved a critical flight test milestone, performing a vertical take-off and landing sequence with precision. The SQX-2Y rocket, developed by Beijing-based i-Space, executed the maneuver flawlessly, signaling China's advancing capabilities in an area dominated by select space-faring entities.

On a clear Thursday afternoon, at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center located in the vast expanse of Northwest China, observers witnessed the 17-meter-tall demonstration rocket ignite its engines and ascend skywards. The rocket, powered by a propulsion system utilizing liquid oxygen and methane-a combination favored for its efficiency and reusability-achieved a peak altitude of 178.42 meters, carving a brief but bold arc against the blue backdrop of the sky.

The flight, lasting just over 50 seconds, culminated with the rocket descending back to Earth, maneuvering to land smoothly within approximately 1.68 meters of its target location. Such precision is remarkable, with the rocket's final descent speed measured at a delicate 0.025 meters per second, demonstrating a controlled and calculated landing operation that underpins the feasibility of rocket reusability.

This flight test's success is more than a technological demonstration; it is a collection of valuable data points that will underpin the development of future medium and large reusable rockets fueled by liquid oxygen and methane. i-Space has heralded the mission for its acquisition of "core data of key technologies," which will undoubtedly serve as a bedrock for subsequent design and engineering decisions.

Reusable rocket technology represents a pivotal frontier in space exploration and satellite deployment. By allowing for the recovery and re-flight of rocket stages, this technology can dramatically reduce the cost of access to space-a factor that is becoming increasingly important as commercial interests in space operations intensify.

The test is also a visible marker of China's growing footprint in the commercial space sector, a domain where competition is intensifying globally. With this successful test, i-Space has not only demonstrated its technical prowess but also laid down a gauntlet in the wider space industry's push towards sustainable and cost-effective launch systems.

i-Space, though a relative newcomer in the field of rocket development, has shown with the SQX-2Y test that innovation and progress in space technology are not the sole dominion of established space agencies and well-known private entities. The firm, and by extension China, is poised to play a formidable role in the next wave of space innovation.

The advent of reusable rockets is not merely a technical exercise but a fundamental shift in how humanity approaches space travel and exploration. With each successful test, the promise of a future where space is accessible and operations therein are sustainable becomes incrementally tangible.

The success of the SQX-2Y vertical take-off and landing test thus marks not only a significant milestone for i-Space and China but also a moment of progress for the global space community. It is a testament to the relentless pursuit of technological advancement and the unyielding spirit of discovery that propels humanity towards the stars.

Related Links
i-Space China
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters

The following news reports may link to other Space Media Network websites.
SpinLaunch announces new leadership roles
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Nov 01, 2023
SpinLaunch, a pioneering space company enabling rapid and sustainable low-cost access to space, has announced major executive appointments that will provide the company with additional expertise in global investments, partnerships, commercialization, and go-to-market strategy. Aerospace pioneer and investor Domhnal Slattery has been elected Chairman of SpinLaunch's Board of Directors. In his new role, Slattery will work closely with the executive leadership and key stakeholders to provide both gui ... read more

SwRI's Dr. Alan Stern conducts space research during suborbital spaceflight aboard Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity

Workshop to highlight NASA's support for mobility, in-space servicing

Apollo astronaut Thomas K. Mattingly dies aged 87

NASA astronauts Moghbeli and O'Hara embark on rare all-female spacewalk

SpinLaunch announces new leadership roles

High-power propulsion for gateway will be electric blue

Tech agreement sets stage for U.S. private sector space launch sites in Australia

Norway inaugurates satellite launch site

Bewitched Battery: Sols 3994-3995

Estimating depositional timing on Mars using cosmogenic radionuclide data

Mars Climate Sounder data reveals new cloud trends, study shows

Scientists discover molten layer covering Martian core

New scientific experimental samples from China's space station return to Earth

Shenzhou XVI crew return after 'very cool journey'

Chinese astronauts return to Earth with fruitful experimental results

Private sector actively competing for involvement in China's space station, manned lunar missions

InSPA collaborates with multi-sector partners to fast-track space commercialization

New technologies for the future of European space

Follow NASA's Starling Swarm in Real Time

Fugro SpAARC's operations set to grow with new funding from Western Australian Govt

NASA's InSPA Aims to Stimulate Commercial Manufacturing in Low Earth Orbit

MDA acquires SatixFy's Digital Payload Division in $60 Million deal

ESA hones 3D Printed electromagnetic coils for spaceflight

TAP Lab Accelerator aims to transition space domain prototypes to commercial products

Scorching, seven-planet system revealed by new Kepler Exoplanet list

Giant planets cast a deadly pall

Jurassic worlds might be easier to spot than modern Earth

ET phone Dublin? Astrophysicists scan the Galaxy for signs of life

Salts and organics observed on Ganymede's surface by June

New jet stream discovered in Jupiter's upper atmosphere

Uranus aurora discovery offers clues to habitable icy worlds

How NASA is protecting Europa Clipper from space radiation

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2023 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.