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China's rocket start-ups go small in age of 'shoebox' satellites

Updated : 2019-04-26 16:57:35

Demand for nanosatellites - which weigh less than 10 kilogrammes (22 pounds) and are in some cases as small as a shoebox - is expected to explode in the next few years. And China's rocket entrepreneurs reckon there is no better place to develop inexpensive launch vehicles than their home country.

China envisions massive constellations of commercial satellites that can offer services ranging from high-speed internet for aircraft to tracking coal shipments. (REUTERS/Jason Lee)
China envisions massive constellations of commercial satellites that can offer services ranging from high-speed internet for aircraft to tracking coal shipments. (REUTERS/Jason Lee)
The Chinese companies are approaching inexpensive launches in different ways including the designing of cheap, disposable boosters. (REUTERS/Jason Lee)
The Chinese companies are approaching inexpensive launches in different ways including the designing of cheap, disposable boosters. (REUTERS/Jason Lee)
LinkSpace's Hu aspires to build reusable rockets that return to Earth after delivering their payload, much like the Falcon 9 rockets of Elon Musk's SpaceX. (REUTERS/Jason Lee)
LinkSpace's Hu aspires to build reusable rockets that return to Earth after delivering their payload, much like the Falcon 9 rockets of Elon Musk's SpaceX. (REUTERS/Jason Lee)
LinkSpace's reusable rocket RLV-T5, also known as NewLine Baby, is carried past a vacant plot of land before a test launch in Longkou, Shandong province. (REUTERS/Jason Lee)
LinkSpace's reusable rocket RLV-T5, also known as NewLine Baby, is carried past a vacant plot of land before a test launch in Longkou, Shandong province. (REUTERS/Jason Lee)
After a surge in fresh funding in 2018, firms like LinkSpace are pushing out prototypes, planning more tests and even proposing operational launches this year. (REUTERS/Aly Song)
After a surge in fresh funding in 2018, firms like LinkSpace are pushing out prototypes, planning more tests and even proposing operational launches this year. (REUTERS/Aly Song)
Spacety, a satellite maker based in southern Hunan province, plans to put 20 satellites in orbit this year, including its first for a foreign client. (REUTERS/Aly Song)
Spacety, a satellite maker based in southern Hunan province, plans to put 20 satellites in orbit this year, including its first for a foreign client. (REUTERS/Aly Song)
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