LandSpace Technology achieved a significant milestone in China’s commercial space sector with the successful launch of the second ZhuQue-2 (ZQ-2) rocket. Taking place at 01:00 UTC on July 12, 2023, from Site 96 at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert, this mission followed the setback of ZQ-2’s maiden flight in December 2022 due to an issue with a liquid oxygen inlet pipe on the second stage.
LandSpace Propels ZhuQue-2: Advancing China’s Space Industry
While the specifics of the payloads carried during the second ZQ-2 launch have not been disclosed, LandSpace Technology’s accomplishment highlights a significant advancement in China’s commercial space industry. Setting itself apart from other players, the company’s dedication to achieving orbit through the use of methane and liquid oxygen (methalox) propellants demonstrates its commitment to innovation and sustainability.
The much-anticipated #Zhuque2 rocket's launch has turned out to be a great success!— Wu Lei (@wulei2020) July 12, 2023
At 9: 00am (Beijing Time) on Wednesday, Chinese commercial company #Landspace’s Zhuque-2 Y2 rocket blasted off from #Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.
(Video: Zheng Yibing) pic.twitter.com/KyTJmZeACt
The ZQ-2 rocket boasts an impressive payload capacity, capable of delivering up to 6,000 kilograms to a low-Earth orbit or 4,000 kilograms to a Sun-synchronous orbit. With dimensions of approximately 3.35 meters in diameter and 49.5 meters in length, the rocket weighs around 219 tonnes at liftoff. LandSpace’s focus on methane-fueled propulsion aligns with its dedication to minimizing environmental impact, as methane combustion produces fewer soot emissions compared to other propellant options. This cleaner flame reduces carbon deposits within the rocket’s engines, resulting in lower maintenance requirements.
Headquartered in Beijing, LandSpace Technology is at the forefront of China’s emerging commercial space sector. Established in 2015, the company holds the distinction of being the first Chinese private entity with full access qualifications and the first to successfully launch a fully private rocket, the ZhuQue-1. Despite the challenges encountered during ZQ-2’s maiden flight, LandSpace remains determined to persevere and has implemented significant improvements to rectify the issues.
LandSpace’s ZhuQue-2: Shaping the Future of Chinese Space Exploration
History was made on July 12 as LandSpace achieved a groundbreaking milestone. Congratulations to LandSpace on the successful launch of Zhuque-2! This remarkable event marks a significant moment in space exploration. Zhuque-2 has become the world’s first methane-powered rocket to reach Earth’s orbit. The mission reached a major milestone with the separation of the 2nd stage occurring at 01:12:46 UTC, reaching an altitude of approximately 453 kilometers and a speed of 7.6 kilometers per second. A monumental achievement for LandSpace and a significant step forward for the future of space exploration.
Payload separated at 01:12:46UTC at ~453km altitude and 7.6km/s speed pic.twitter.com/rxFPfRWJuh— China 'N Asia Spaceflight 🚀🛰️🙏 (@CNSpaceflight) July 12, 2023
Looking towards the future, LandSpace Technology aims to further enhance the capabilities of the ZhuQue-2 rocket and achieve full reusability. Through technological innovation and continuous improvement, the company has an ambitious vision for the future of commercial space flights. LandSpace strives to become a key player in the global space market, challenging established industry leaders and contributing to the progress of commercial space exploration in China.