|Products||Launch service provider|
i-Space (Chinese: 星际荣耀; pinyin: xīngjì róngyào; lit. 'Interstellar Glory')—also known as Space Honor, Beijing Interstellar Glory Space Technology Ltd., Interstellar Glory or StarCraft Glory—is a Chinese private space technology development and space launch company based in Beijing, founded in October 2016.
The company is developing two-stage small satellite orbital launchers based on solid propellant rocket engines procured from major Chinese government supplier China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CAST).
In July 2019, i-Space successfully launched the Hyperbola-1 and reached low Earth orbit on its maiden flight, becoming the first private company from China to achieve orbit. A second launch of the Hyperbola-1 in February 2021 failed to reach orbit, as did the third attempt in August 2021 and the fourth in May 2022.
The company was founded in 2016.
By 2019, i-Space had successfully launched the Hyperbola-1S and Hyberbola-1Z single-stage solid-propellant test rockets into space on suborbital test flights, and then reached low Earth orbit with Hyperbola-1 on its maiden flight on 25 July 2019, becoming the first private company from China to have achieved orbit.
The company raised US$173 million in private capital in a series B round during 2020.
The Hyperbola-1S (also called SQX-1S), and the Hyperbola-1Z (also called SQX-1Z), are single stage, solid-propellant suborbital test rockets. The Hyperbola-1S rocket was 8.4 m (28 ft) long, with a diameter of 1 m (3 ft 3 in) and weighed 4.6 t (5.1 tons). The Hyperbola-1Z rocket has a diameter of about 1.4 m (4 ft 7 in), maximum design speed of 1.6 km/s (0.99 mi/s) and can reach altitude of 175 km (109 mi) on a suborbital trajectory.
The first sub-orbital test flight of Hyperbola-1S took place from Hainan island on 5 April 2018 to an altitude of 108 km (67 mi).
The second flight of i-Space was a commercial sub-orbital flight launched on 5 September 2018 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi desert, using the Hyperbola-1Z rocket. The sub-orbital flight reached an altitude of 108 km (67 mi) and a peak velocity of over 1,200 m/s (3,900 ft/s). It carried payloads from private Chinese satellite companies ZeroG Labs and ADA-space. The rocket delivered three CubeSat satellites one of which subsequently parachuted back to Earth.
The Hyperbola-1 (aka Shuang Quxian-1, SQX-1) (Chinese: 双曲线一号) rocket is 20.8 m (68 ft) tall, 1.4 m (4 ft 7 in) in diameter and weighs 31 t (34 tons). It consists of four all solid fuel stages, guided by liquid fuel attitude control engines. It can launch 300 kg (660 lb) into low Earth orbit (LEO). The rocket might be based on Chinese military missiles (perhaps DF-11 or DF-15). The first stage of the rocket is equipped with four grid fins. The launch price is reported around US$5 million.
Its successful maiden flight was on 25 July 2019, at 05:00 UTC from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It launched from a movable supporting platform. It placed numerous payloads, among them the CAS-7B amateur radio satellite, into orbit 300 km (190 mi) above Earth. CAS-7B decayed from orbit 6 August 2019. It was the first Chinese private company to achieve orbit (orbital launches of other private companies before had failed).
A second launch occurred on 1 February 2021, at 08:15 UTC (16:15 Beijing Time) from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center with 6 unidentified satellites but failed to reach orbit. A subsequent investigation revealed that a piece of insulation had broken off and got stuck in the turning mechanism of grid fin Number IV. When the piece was blown away, the control system then suddenly overcompensated, resulting in the rocket being ripped apart by excessive aerodynamic forces. The rocket was named "Tianshu" because its outer fuselage was covered with the artistic creations (images of compound made-up Chinese characters) of the contemporary artist Xu Bing.
iSpace launched a third Hyperbola-1 solid-rocket vehicle on 3 August 2021. SpaceNews was reporting the same day that the outcome of the launch was unknown, but that amateur video of the launch had been posted, but then deleted from Chinese social media. After most of the day had passed, the Chinese official media Xinhua reported that the launch was unsuccessful due to off-nominal performance of the rocket which resulted in a failure to achieve orbit. An official statement released by the company itself the following day clarified that the failure was caused by a malfunctioning in the fairing separation process, that precluded the payload from reaching the target orbit.
A fourth launch attempt on May 13th 2022 was unsuccessful as well.
|Flight number||Serial number||Date (UTC)||Launch site||Payload||Orbit||Result|
|1||Y1||25 July 2019
|2||Y2||1 February 2021
|LA-4, JSLC||undisclosed payloads||SSO||Failure|
|3||Y5||3 August 2021
|LA-4, JSLC||Jilin-1 Mofang-01A||SSO||Failure|
|4||Y4||13 May 2022
|LA-4, JSLC||Jilin-1 Mofang-01A||SSO||Failure|
The Hyperbola-2 (Chinese: 双曲线二号) is a two-stage, liquid-fueled, reusable rocket designed to be able lift 1.9 tons into LEO. It uses liquid oxygen and methane as fuel. The first stage is expected to land propulsively in order to be reused. The JD-1 engine made its first hot fire test in May 2020. As of July 2022, the first launch is expected to occur in 2023 following a series of first stage hop tests.
In May 2018, i-Space indicated they hoped to eventually develop a reusable sub-orbital spaceplane (Chinese: 亚轨道概念飞行器) for space tourism.
i-Space is in competition with several other Chinese space rocket startups, being LandSpace, Galactic Energy, ExPace, LinkSpace, OneSpace and Deep Blue Aerospace.