The Chinese aerospace and aviation company LandSpace recently partnered with the country’s technology developer GCL System Integration Technology Co., Ltd. (SHE: 002506) to launch the first-ever methane-powered rocket into space.
GCL announced the accomplishment on Friday following “Zhuque-2” successfully entering the Earth’s orbit after launching from northwest China’s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 9 am. The rocket was primarily constructed by LandSpace.
GCL says China has become the first nation in the world to accomplish this feat and that liquid methane is a cheap, clean and powerful fuel ideal for reusable rockets because of its low weight and minimal required storage space.
“The achievement of creating and testing a rocket powered by this green, economically viable, and safe propellant, thanks to GCL’s strong support, puts China ahead of the global race,” says GCL.
“This milestone paves the way for the country’s private aerospace industry to develop next-gen low-cost, high-performance, heavy-duty carrier rocket solutions.”
GCL says it sees an opportunity for itself and LandSpace to harness their combined technological expertise and drive innovation in the aerospace and renewable energy sectors.
The companies plan to strengthen their partnership and utilize artificial intelligence to digitize and streamline the aerospace industry’s value chain.
LandSpace is devoted to the development of liquid fuels, rocket engines and other technology. The private company has raised a total of US$336 million through five funding rounds from 18 investors such as China’s Country Garden and California’s Sequoia Capital for its operations.
In addition to rockets, GCL also develops solar technology and other clean/green products.
GCL shares dropped by 1.35 per cent Monday to C$0.53 on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.