Chinese startup successfully tests reusable rocket

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Chinese rocket developer LinkSpace has successfully tested its reusable rocket for the third time earlier this month.

The startup’s RLV-T5 technology demonstrator reached its highest point, an altitude of 300.4m, during a 50 second flight test carried out at Magnai, Qinghai province and broadcast on Chinese social media platform Weibo.

The rocket, which is 8m tall and weighs 1.5 tons successfully made a powered descent and landing as part of the test.

This latest launch follows test flights that took place in March and April when the rocket reached altitudes of 20 and 40m respectively, reports website Space News.

Wan Mei, vice president of LinkSpace, told the China News Service, “this is a new milestone in China’s reusable rocket research”.

The statement added that the rocket can be reused multiple times and has other advantages such as low test cost and a capability of rapid iteration.

LinkSpace is a private company founded five years ago to develop spacecraft and launch systems. It launched its first rocket, carrying a communications satellite for State broadcaster for China Media Group, in October last year.

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before eventually becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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