In a significant move to bolster China’s burgeoning commercial space industry, Orienspace, a prominent Chinese launch firm, has announced a substantial Series B funding round worth nearly 600 million yuan ($83.5 million). The funding, revealed on January 24, comes hot on the heels of the company’s successful debut launch, signaling China’s commitment to fostering its commercial space ecosystem.

Investor Support and Funding Allocation

Investors participating in Orienspace’s Series B funding round include Liangxi Science and Technology Innovation Industry Fund of Funds, Hongtai Fund, Xin Ding Capital, CMBC International Holdings, Shanhang Capital, and Shenyin & Wanguo Investment. The infusion of capital will primarily fuel the research and development efforts for Orienspace’s ambitious Gravity-2 liquid propellant rocket.

Gravity-2: The Next Frontier in Rocket Technology

Orienspace’s Gravity-2 rocket represents a significant leap forward in Chinese space technology. Standing at 60 meters tall with a diameter of 4.2 meters, the Gravity-2 will utilize nine 100-ton-thrust Yuanli-85 gas generator engines for its first stage. Notably, the first stage is planned to be reusable, underscoring Orienspace’s commitment to sustainable space exploration.

Milestones and Timeline

A crucial milestone in the Gravity-2’s development is the full hot fire test of the Yuanli-85 engine, expected to take place in the first quarter of 2024. Orienspace has already commenced production, with the first engine rolling off the production line in Liangxi District, Wuxi City, signaling progress towards the rocket’s eventual launch. The Gravity-2 aims to have a payload capacity of 25.6 tons to low Earth orbit (LEO), 19.1 tons to a 500-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit (SSO), or 7.7 tons to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).

Competitive Positioning and Price Point

Orienspace’s Gravity-2 rocket aspires to operate at a competitive price per kilogram comparable to the SpaceX Falcon 9, highlighting China’s ambitions to establish itself as a key player in the global space market. With the first launch of the Gravity-2 slated for 2025 or 2026, Orienspace is poised to make significant strides in commercial space exploration.

Strategic Implications and Future Prospects

The announcement of Orienspace’s Series B funding comes in the wake of the successful debut launch of its Gravity-1 rocket, further solidifying China’s position in the commercial space arena. Orienspace’s strategic partnerships and government backing, notably from the Liangxi Science and Technology Innovation Industry Fund of Funds, underscore the company’s pivotal role in China’s space ambitions.

As Orienspace embarks on its journey to develop and launch the Gravity-2 rocket, the company stands at the forefront of China’s ambitious space exploration initiatives. With robust financial backing, cutting-edge technology, and a clear roadmap for future endeavors, Orienspace is poised to redefine the landscape of commercial space exploration, contributing to the broader goals of scientific discovery and technological advancement on a global scale.

By Admin

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