The second orbital launch attempt for a private Chinese company has failed. OneSpace Tech’s OS-M Chongqing launch vehicle was attempting to orbit the small Lingque-1B technology demonstration satellite from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. The launch took place at 09:32 UTC but failed shortly after entering second stage flight.
In 2014 China began encouraging private capital in the satellite and spaceflight industries, and in 2015 President Xi upgraded “Military and Civilian Integration” to a national strategic level and in the meantime, the Chinese government began to solicit opinions about legislation of commercial space industry.
Policies for Chinese commercial space industry was then opened gradually, and private capital began to enter into this specific area, which raised a new development trend of the commercial space industry.
One Space Tech was founded in August 2015 with three main business sectors starting with the development of the M-series commercial launch vehicle to provide high-frequency, cost-effective, and high-quality launch service to small and micro satellite customers.
The development of the X-series flight test platform provides customized solutions for scientific research and transportation; and the development of electrical and propellant products provides support and customization services.
OneSpace’s headquarters and R&D center are located in Beijing. The research and development center, and manufacturing and assembly base, is located in Chongqing, with the rocket engine testing facilities located in Jiangxi Province and Shanxi Province.
On February 2017 the OneSpace Chongqing was founded and in May of that year the Chongqing municipal government also invests on the company. On December, OneSpace successfully conducts a static test of self-developed solid propellant rocket motor. On the following month occurs a successful test of a liquid attitude control motor.
The maiden launch of the suborbital OS-X – OS-X0 – rocket “Chongqing Liangjiang Star” launch vehicle took place on May 17th, 2018.
The 9-meter high, 7,200-kilogram rocket is capable of reaching an altitude of 38.7 kilometers with a maximum speed of 5.7 times the speed of sound. In July the M series first-stage main rocket motor was successfully tested. A second OS-X suborbital launch – OS-X1 – took place successfully on September 7.
The OS-M series rockets aim to provide launch service to small and micro satellites, providing customers launch service with efficient, reliable and rapid response at a competitive price. It can provide customized and integrated solutions to meet customers’ various orbit and heights needs.
The OS-1M is a solid fuel three stage orbital launch vehicle capable of orbiting 205 kg to a 300 km high LEO or and 73 kg to a 800 km high SSO.
The OS-M rockets may use demilitarized solid rocket motors from retired missiles. Stage one has a fixed nozzle with steerable thrust vanes and fins, while the second stage, which is identical to the first stage, uses only thrust vanes and no fins. Identical to the OS-X prototype launch vehicle, the third stage uses only thrust vanes.
Additionally to the OS-M1, OneSpace is developing the OS-M2 and OS-M4 versions. The OS-M2 is similar to the OS-M1 but has two side boosters. Block A version will be capable of lifting 390 kg to LEO and 204 kg to a 800 km SSO, while block B will be capable of lifting 505 kg to LEO and 274 kg to 800 km SSO.
The OS-M4 has four boosters with Block A capable of lifting 552 kg to LEO and 307 kg to 800 km SSO, while Block B will be capable of lifting 748 kg to LEO and 446 kg to 800 km SSO.
Developed by the ZeroG Lab, the Lingque-1 satellites were to used as demonstrators for the companies Magpie remote sensing constellation.
The Magpie Constellation will be composed of 132 6U CubeSats with optical resolution better than 4 meters and eventually 378 satellites to provide revisits over regions every 10 minutes. The first demonstration satellite Lingque-1A, was launched on January 21, 2019, using a Long March-11 solid launch vehicle.
No official statements have yet been published by OneSpace per the specifics of the launch failure.