Author: Bai Yang
Editor: Luo Yifan
On the evening of January 29th, there were rumors of an “explosion” and loud noises in an industrial park in Songjiang District, Shanghai. However, the Emergency Management Bureau of Songjiang District stated that “there was no explosion in Songjiang District”.
Later, it was reported that the loud noises were from a test conducted by iSpace. On January 30th, iSpace confirmed to 21st Century Business Herald that they conducted a normal test and there was no explosion as rumored online.
According to iSpace, at 19:30 on January 29th, 800 Institute (Shanghai Institute of Aerospace Precision Machinery) conducted a low-temperature static burst test for commercial space storage tanks outdoors. The tank ruptured normally under a pressure of 0.65MPa, and there were no abnormalities in the test control process. Some glass was slightly damaged, and three personnel suffered minor scratches.
An aerospace expert told the reporter that the storage tank is a container used to store payload or fuel for rockets and an important part of rocket development. The low-temperature static burst test is used to evaluate the structural stability, durability, and performance of commercial space storage tanks under extreme low-temperature conditions.
It is known that such aerospace tests have attracted public attention before. In November 2020, iSpace conducted a joint test of the Zhuque-2 rocket’s second-stage engine in Huzhou, Zhejiang, which also caused loud noises in the area, and local residents captured a huge fireball. At that time, some residents reported a fire, but it turned out to be a normal test.
Records show that iSpace was established in 2015 and is the first private commercial rocket company in the country to obtain all access qualifications and achieve successful orbital insertion with self-developed liquid engines.
On July 12, 2023, iSpace’s Zhuque-2 launch vehicle successfully carried out a remote second-stage liquid oxygen methane rocket launch, making it the world’s first successful liquid oxygen methane rocket to achieve orbital insertion. On January 19th this year, iSpace successfully conducted a test flight of the Zhuque-3 VTVL-1 reusable vertical takeoff and landing recovery rocket. According to the plan, in 2025, iSpace’s reusable rocket Zhuque-3 will make its maiden flight.
Currently, iSpace has R&D centers in Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai. It has established intelligent engine manufacturing bases and rocket manufacturing bases in Huzhou and Jiaxing, Zhejiang. Additionally, in Jiuquan, Gansu, iSpace has built China’s first liquid rocket launch site completely invested in, constructed, managed, and operated by a private enterprise. The Shanghai R&D center is mainly responsible for the development of liquid carrier rocket structural systems.
Editor: Zhong Hailing
Intern: Tan YahAn
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