Commercial launch company Space Pioneer announced yet another funding round
, led by a national SME development fund. This round comes around 2 months after their Pre-B round of funding, which we discussed on the DFHour Episode 44
back in August. This is the seventh
funding round by Space Pioneer in the past 2.5 years, with the company having likely raised more than ~RMB 700M, from blue chip, mostly state-owned or partly state-owned investors. The pedigree of the company’s CEO, who is the former CTO of Landspace, has apparently proved useful in accelerating the development of Space Pioneer. This round of funding will partly be used for the company’s Suzhou production park, which broke ground in April 2021
, hence contributing to the increasing number of secondary or tertiary facilities for commercial launch manufacturers in the Yangtze River Delta.
This week, we also have two more technical announcements. First, several reports of the past weeks have been discussing China’s completion of a new liquid hydrogen production facility
, an essential capability for the heavy-lift Long March 5 (which uses a hydrogen second stage) as well as the YF-75 hydrolox engine used in the upper stage of several Long March rockets. The production capacity of the new facility was reported to be at 1.7t/day, with the ability to reach 2.3t/day at full capacity. The facility was designed by the 101th Institute of AALPT (Academy of Aerospace Liquid Propulsion Technology), with 90%+ components being sourced domestically, according to Institute director Wang Chenggang.
Lastly, on September 26, Chinese commercial rocket engine manufacturer S-Motor announced that it had completed the tests of a cold flow engine test stand for solid-fueled rocket engines
. The test stand will notably enable to test solid engine structural properties, without being destructive as is the case of full-fledged test of expendable rocket engines. This technology will enable more rapid and cost-efficient development cycles, according to the WeChat post by the company.