|Founder||Zhang Changwu (张昌武)|
|Footnotes / references|
|LandSpace Technology Corporation|
LandSpace Technology Corporation (doing business as LandSpace) is a Chinese private space launch provider based in Beijing. It was founded in 2015 by Zhang Changwu.
Since its founding, the company has established several aerospace infrastructure sites in Zhejiang, including a $1.5 billion medium and large-scale liquid rocket assembly and test plant in Jiaxing and an intelligent manufacturing base in Huzhou.
LandSpace developed its first launch vehicle Zhuque-1, powered by solid-propellant motors. Zhuque-1 was launched on 27 October 2018, however the payload failed to reach orbit due to an issue with the third stage. The company also developed the liquid-fueled Zhuque-2, based on its methalox TQ-11 and TQ-12 engines, whose maiden launch (failed to orbit) occurred in December 2022. Zhuque-2 became the first methalox rocket in the world to reach orbit after a successful second flight on 12 July 2023.
Zhuque-1 (ZQ-1, Chinese：朱雀一号 or 朱雀·南太湖号), also called LandSpace-1 or LS-1 (the name LandSpace-1 or LS-1 was originally reserved for a different rocket that did not in the end materialize; after cancellation of the rocket, the name LandSpace-1 was then affiliated to LandSpace's rocket-to-be-developed at the time, the Zhuque-1), is a 19 m (62 ft)-tall, three-stage solid-propellant rocket. All stages have a diameter of 1.35 m. It is likely based on the DF-26 missile's rocket motor. Zhuque-1 has a takeoff mass of 27 t (30 tons) and a thrust of 45 tf (99,000 lbf), and is able to carry 300 kg (660 lb) of payload into a 300 km (190 mi) low Earth orbit.
The maiden flight of Zhuque-1 was on 27 October 2018 from a mobile platform at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, carrying Weilai-1 satellite for China Central Television. After a successful first- and second-stage firing, and fairing separation, the payload failed to reach orbit due to an issue with the third stage. Zhuque-1 was the first Chinese private orbital rocket to attempt an orbital launch.
According to news reports, the manufacturer of the solid rocket motors has ended its contract with LandSpace. This raised doubts as to whether there will be a second flight of Zhuque-1. Following the launch, Landscape announced it would advance its focus from Zhuque-1's simple solid-propellant towards the development of a methane-fuelled Zhuque-2.
LandSpace developed a liquid-fuelled rocket called Zhuque-2 (ZQ-2). Zhuque-2 is a medium-sized rocket powered by liquid oxygen and methane capable of lifting 6,000 kg of payload into a 200 km low Earth orbit, or 4,000 kg of payload into a 500 km Sun-synchronous orbit. The rocket was initially planned to be launched in 2020, however by 2019 this had slipped to 2021, and later to December 2022.
Zhuque-2 has a liftoff weight of 216 metric tons and use 4 TQ-12 methalox engines on the first stage each with a thrust of 67 metric tonnes. The second stage utilizes one vacuum optimised TQ-12 with a thrust of 80 metric tonnes in combination with an 8 metric tonnes thrust TQ-11 engine which acts as a vernier thruster.
In May 2019, LandSpace performed test firings of its liquid methane and LOX fuelled TQ-12 rocket engine at its test facility at Huzhou, Zhejiang province. LandSpace's head of research and development, Ge Minghe, says the engine has a thrust of 80 tonnes. The Huzhou facility will be able to produce about 15 ZQ-2 rockets and 200 TQ-12 engines starting in 2022, according to CEO, Zhang Changwu.
On 14 December 2022, LandSpace conducted the debut flight of Zhuque-2, but failed to reach orbit due to an early shutdown of its second stage vernier engines after the second stage main engines apparently completed a successful burn. It was the world's first orbital launch attempt by a methane-fueled launch vehicle, and was the first methane launch vehicle to reach space.
In March 2023, LandSpace confirmed that the second Zhuque-2 launch vehicle had completed assembly and was undergoing preparations for a launch attempt in the coming months.
On 12 July 2023, Zhuque-2 became the first methane-fueled launch vehicle to reach orbit after a successful second flight. Following the successful flight, CEO Zhang Changwu announced that the company could now begin its mass production process for Zhuque-2, with the launch having finalized and verified its design.
|Rocket & Serial||Flight No.||Date||Payload||Orbit||Launch Site||Outcome||Notes|
|Zhuque-1||27 October 2018,
|Weilai-1 (‘Future’) satellite||LEO||Jiuquan||Failure|
|Zhuque-2||Y1||14 December 2022,
|Various||SSO||Jiuquan, Site 96||Failure||First methane launch vehicle to reach space.|
|Zhuque-2||Y2||12 July 2023,
|No payload (Flight test)||SSO||Jiuquan, Site 96||Success||First methane launch vehicle to reach orbit.|
LandSpace is in competition with several other Chinese space rocket startups, being LinkSpace, Galactic Energy, ExPace, i-Space, OneSpace and Deep Blue Aerospace.