China's LinkSpace successfully launches reusable rocket prototype. (Photo/CGTN)
China's private rocket company LinkSpace successfully launched a reusable rocket in east China's Shandong Province on Friday. The RLV-T5 rocket flew to a height of 40 meters and then safely landed, in 30 seconds.
On March 27, the company finished its first low-altitude launch at a height of 20 meters.
Whenever the term "reusable rocket" is mentioned, people would at once link it to the U.S. giants like SpaceX and Blue Origin. Now, China's LinkSpace is hoping to make its presence felt in the market.
Founded in 2014, LinkSpace is engaged in the development of reusable rockets and liquid rocket engine technology. The RLV-T5 rocket was put into production in May 2018. The 8.1-meter high rocket has a take-off weight of 1.5 tons, and uses five liquid rocket engines in parallel to get off the ground.
Currently, LinkSpace's 20-member team has started the research and development of a sub-orbital reusable rocket named RLV-T6.
It is expected that the final assembly of the new rocket will be completed by the end of this year. The company's first small commercial rocket, NEWLINE-1, will target the microsatellite launch market and is scheduled to make its maiden flight around 2021.