Chinese reusable rocket startup receives new funding

(ORDO NEWS) — On April 19, China’s Deep Blue Aerospace announced its A+ round of funding, with funding clearly growing in the Chinese commercial sector.

The new round was led by CMBC Int “l Holdings, three months after Deep Blue Aerospace raised $31.5 million.

Undisclosed funds will be used to develop the Nebula-1 reusable kerosene-liquid-oxygen rocket, develop the Thunder series of engines and additive manufacturing processes , the company said in a press release.The

statement said the funding would help accelerate development of the rocket, but it also said the first orbital launch and stage recovery is expected in 2024, while previously saying the first launch would take place in 2023.

Last year, Deep Blue Aerospace tested vertical takeoff and vertical landing at 10 and 100 meters. The company is currently working on testing at the kilometer level using the Nebula-M test product, as well as testing the “Thunder-20” engine with a thrust of 20 tons.

The company is looking at private launch contracts, the government’s satellite Internet project, and the national space station program as potential sources of revenue.

Investment in China’s commercial space sector is expected to double year on year in 2022, according to Chinese media outlet Zhidongxi.

Last year, 37 Chinese firms reported $992 million in funding, according to the report. Startups have already attracted a large amount of funding at the beginning of this year.

Most notable was the $200 million announced by Galactic Energy in January, which surpassed the previous Chinese start-up funding record.

Deep Blue Aerospace and Galactic Energy are two of the second wave of Chinese rocket launch startups focused on the development of reusable launch vehicles.

Landspace, one of China’s earliest startups, is currently gearing up for the country’s first privately funded liquid propellant rocket launch attempt.

Meanwhile, cities and provinces are looking to attract space companies to spur innovation and economic activity, especially after statements of support have been made at the state level in the past couple of years.

Earlier this month, Beijing unveiled a series of policy measures to encourage the construction of a commercial aerospace industrial base in the city’s Daxing area. The move also aims to attract and support firms by providing subsidies of up to 20 million yuan ($3 million) a year.

According to an announcement on April 10, the project to establish a space technology industrialization base in the Nansha District of the southern city of Guangzhou will be completed and will begin work in August.

The base will host CAS Space, one of a number of launch companies set up by Chinese state-owned enterprises. It was previously reported that the first launch of the ZK-1A CAS Space solid-fuel rocket will take place in early 2022.


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