ispace

CHINESE STARTUP ISPACE LAUNCHES NEXT YEAR AFTER HISTORIC ROCKET LAUNCH

Clients from Singapore, Italy, Spain, Hong Kong, and Sri Lanka, as well as mainland customers, have already either signed up for a spot on iSpace’s rockets or expressed interest. ispace is open to both private and government clients.

“It’s the same for us whether it’s a private or a state-owned company,” Vice President for Marketing and Communications Yao Bowen said.

The price tag to launch a rocket is 4.5 million euros ($5 million), Yao added.

That compares with the $25 million to $30 million needed for a launch on a Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems Pegasus, a commonly used small rocket.

Since its founding in late 2016, ispace has completed six rounds of fund-raising totalling over 700 million yuan ($102 million). The last round took place in June.

To help develop the Hyperbola-2, which will also be a reusable rocket, iSpace will “definitely” complete a large round of fund-raising later this year, Huo said, declining to give more details.

Many of ispace’s rivals are designing cheap, disposable boosters. Only one other firm – LinkSpace – aims to build reusable rockets that return to Earth after delivering their payload, much like the Falcon 9 rockets of Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

The reusable design of Hyperbola-2 will cut costs by 70 percent, Huo said.

ispace estimates the first launch of its reusable rocket in 2021.

The firm was founded by Peng Xiaobo, a former director of research and development at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, a top state Chinese rocket maker.

ispace also owns a defense technology firm, corporate registration data published by the Beijing Administration for Industry and Commerce shows.

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