China's Taobao working with startup on deliveries by reusable rocket

By Reuters   March 31, 2024 | 03:06 am PT
Chinese rocket maker Space Epoch is working with Alibaba's online shopping platform Taobao to make reusable rockets for express deliveries that could arrive globally in an hour, Space Epoch announced on Sunday.
A rocket taking off. Illustration photo by Pexels

A rocket taking off. Illustration photo by Pexels

The project is in early trial stages and aims to develop a rocket that can carry up to ten tons of cargo in a 120 cubic metre container, Space Epoch said in a notice posted on its official WeChat social media account.

Alibaba did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Beijing-based Space Epoch is looking to use its 'Yuanxing-1' rocket, which completed ignition and offshore recovery tests last year.

The company will carry out rocket delivery tests in the near future, noting that achieving its goals will not be easy in the short term.

President Xi Jinping has called for the expansion of strategic industries including the commercial space sector, deemed key to building constellations of satellites for communications, remote sensing and navigation.

Last year saw 17 Chinese commercial launches with one failure, among a new record 67 orbital launches by China. That was up from 10 commercial launches in 2022, including two failures.

Space Epoch secured 200 million yuan ($27.70 million) in its third financing round last November.

($1 = 7.2203 Chinese yuan renminbi)

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