Military-civilian integration progressing
Two commercial rockets developed by Chinese private companies completed launch missions at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, Northwest China's Gansu Province, in early September, which experts said is a concrete measure toward implementing the strategy of military-civilian integration.
It is the first time that domestic private aerospace companies have launched rockets at a national launch center since it opened in 1958.
"The launch of private commercial rockets from the center is a concrete embodiment of the commercialization of China's aerospace industry, demonstrating the future strategy of our country's space development," the Xinhua News Agency reported on Saturday, citing Jia Lide, director from a planning department under the center.
Jia said that the strategy aims to bring "standardized management and orderly guidance" to domestic private commercial aerospace launches, which will be further included in a unified national management system, according to the report.
The Chinese government encourages private capital to orderly participate in aerospace activities such as scientific research and production to boost the commercial space industry, reads the white paper on China's space activities in 2016 released by the State Council, China's cabinet, in December 2016.
In recent years, China's private commercial space sector has developed rapidly. During the past nine months, Chinese private commercial rocket firms like iSpace and OneSpace have successfully completed four suborbital rocket launches and two of them were from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, the report said, noting that it was the first exploration of the private commercial space launch in the national management system.
On September 5, iSpace launched a suborbital rocket into space from the center and OneSpace on September 7 sent an OS-X1 series suborbital rocket named Chongqing Liangjiang Star from the center, the report said.
Huang Zhicheng, a professor of the Beijing Institute of System Engineering, told the Global Times on Saturday that in September, the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center has explored a new launch site for the two private commercial rocket firms.
"Such a move shows that the space sector has made great contributions to the deep integration of military and civilian aerospace," Huang said.
An industry insider surnamed Mao told the Global Times that the private space industry can play a complementary role to the national aerospace sector.
Many private companies that meet standards can contribute to the national defense industry, he said, adding that "through the larger industrial system, our national economy can be deeply integrated with the needs of our country's national defense construction."
The center will continue to carry out private commercial rocket launch missions in the future, according to the Xinhua report.