Beijing-based startup Orienspace achieved a milestone with the successful launch of China’s most potent privately developed rocket, the Gravity-1. Launched from a ship off Shandong province, the rocket deployed three remote-sensing satellites into orbit, marking a breakthrough in commercial launches dominated by state agencies.
Established in 2020 by former professionals from China’s state space agencies, Orienspace had planned Gravity-1’s debut for the latter half of 2023. Capable of carrying a payload up to 6,500 kg into low earth orbit, Gravity-1 positions itself as the most robust private Chinese launch vehicle.
This achievement sets the stage for increased commercial satellite launches, with Orienspace having secured orders for hundreds of satellite launches, and Gravity-1’s flexible launch capabilities, including from a mobile sea platform, offer heightened accessibility and reduce risks associated with rocket stages returning to Earth.
Orienspace’s inaugural launch solidifies its position as the fifth private Chinese firm operating an independent carrier rocket, joining the ranks of i-Space, Galactic Energy, Space Pioneer, and LandSpace.