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U.S. companies like SpaceX have galloped ahead in the commercial space race but China doesn’t want to be left out as well. The country has kicked off its very own commercial space race as the first rocket was launched by a private Chinese company earlier this week. Beijing-based OneSpace Technologies became the first private company in China to launch a rocket.

China already has a significant presence in space. Almost all of the work done so far has been by the government’s China National Space Administration which has dispatched satellites, sent rovers to the moon, and has even sent astronauts to space.

According to local reports, OneSpace Technologies’ OS-X rocket was launched from an undisclosed location in China on a suborbital trajectory this Wednesday. The rocket reportedly reached an altitude of 25 miles and covered a distance of about 170 miles before it fell back to Earth.

The launch was meant to demonstrate the company’s potential and how it intends to use that in order to develop a scalable business that sends small satellites to space. It’s a relatively recent development in the country that allows private companies to send rockets up in space.

The government allowed private companies to start working on launching satellites just four years ago so while OneSpace Technologies might be the first one, it’s going to be far from the only Chinese private company that makes spaceflights in the years to come.

Filed in General. Read more about China and Space.

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