A solid-fueled Kuaizhou 1A launcher carried a commercial broadband communications satellite into orbit Thursday for Galaxy Space, a Chinese company that says it plans to launch up to 144 spacecraft for a space-based 5G network in the next few years.
China led the world with 34 orbital launch attempts in 2019 — including two failures — followed by 22 flights from Russian-operated launch pads and 21 satellite delivery missions originating from U.S. spaceports, all of which were successful.
Two solid-fueled Kuaizhou 1A rockets fired into orbit from the same spaceport in northern China Saturday, demonstrating a further advance in China’s aim for a quick-response, on-call satellite launch capability.
Demonstrating a quick turnaround launch capability, China launched a light-class, solid-fueled Kuaizhou 1A rocket Sunday, four days after the same type of satellite booster fired into orbit from the same launch pad.
A solid-fueled Chinese Kuaizhou launcher positioned to compete for worldwide business took off Monday on its first commercial mission with three small satellites to collect high-definition video and test communications technologies.