In May this year, One Space became China’s first private company to launch its own rocket, the Chongqing Liangjiang Star, into orbit. We talked to One Space founder and CEO, Shu Chang.
One Space is a Chinese space exploration start-up. Founded in 2015, the Beijing-based company is focused on developing small, smart launch vehicles which provide cost-effective launch services for commercial micro-satellites globally.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has made it clear he wants China to become a space tech super-power and as part of this, he has allowed private, non-governmental capital to enter the space industry for the first time, opening the market up for companies like One Space to innovate.
One Space hopes to differentiate itself from other companies that provide commercial space launch services by focusing on smaller, high-frequency carrier rockets for small and nano-satellites at a cost-effective price-point.
Shu said: “One Space is a space exploration company in China. It is special because it is a private rocket company. In 2016, the military and civil integration policy in China was upgraded to a national level, and that’s why we are a bunch of young people gathered together. We want to make a cost-effective launch service for those nano-satellites and micro-satellites.”
He added: “In May this year we launched our first flight test platform, and at the end of this year we will launch our first launch vehicle.”
Inspiring young talent
Shu has a background in aircraft design and has also worked for the National Institution in China in the space industry.
He is just 33 and many of the team at One Space are also in their twenties and thirties. Shu says he and many of his colleagues are inspired by companies such as SpaceX and entrepreneurs like Elon Musk.
He said: “I think a lot of young people in China are dreaming of [creating] companies like Space X in China, so that’s why we’re together.”