Chinese startup Space Epoch has tested a fuel tank designed for a reusable rocket. Due to the similarity of the concept with the SpaceX project, it is called a “miniature Starship”.
Chinese “miniature Starship” passes the test
While SpaceX is approaching its first launch of the reusable Starship, China is testing a design that is clearly inspired by it. Beijing-based startup Space Epoch has announced the completion of ground tests of a fuel tank designed for their own rocket that can be reused.
The tank, very similar to the miniature Starship, is also made of stainless steel and has a diameter of 4.2 m. It is equipped with a Longyun-70 methane-liquid oxygen engine manufactured by Jiuzhou Yunjian. The tests were conducted at a test site in Anhui Province.
Static burning tests consisted of ignition, engine restart, as well as burning at low fuel levels. All of them ended successfully. These tests are only part of the preparation for the launch of the spacecraft itself with the designation XZH-1 D1. It will have a height of 64 meters and carry 6.5 tons of payload into an orbit with a height of 1100 km.
Chinese Reusable Rocket
Jiuzhou Yunjian claims that the rocket can be re-launched up to 20 times. The first suborbital flight is planned to take place in 2023. And some time after that, this very rocket should be used a second time.
The company was founded in 2017. It has already become known as a supplier of engines for the Darwin-1 rocket, developed by the Chinese startup Rocket Pi. And now it has become known that the state corporation SAST, which is a division of the main Chinese space contractor SAST, also wants to use engines from Jiuzhou Yunjian.
The company seriously expects to become one of the most important players in the Chinese space industry. It is quite possible that a miniature Starship will help it in this. And perhaps it will be some other of the numerous space projects of the Celestial Empire.
According to spacenews.com
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