Orienspace, a Chinese launch startup established in 2020, has successfully launched its Gravity-1 all-solid launch vehicle, marking a new record in payload capacity for Chinese commercial rockets. The rocket, which took off from the mobile sea platform Defu-15002 in the Yellow Sea, delivered three Yunyao-1 (18-20) satellites into orbit, as confirmed by the U.S. Space Force space domain awareness. The Gravity-1, with its three stages and four boosters, can carry up to 6,500 kilograms to low Earth orbit, significantly surpassing the capabilities of previous Chinese solid rockets like CAS Space’s Kinetica-1 and China Rocket’s Jielong-3.
Orienspace’s vision extends beyond Gravity-1, with plans for two more launches in 2024 and the development of the more powerful, liquid-propellant Gravity-2 rocket, set to debut in 2025. This rocket, significantly larger than Gravity-1, aims to elevate Orienspace’s position in the global space industry, competing with established players and potentially contributing to major projects like the Guowang and G60 LEO broadband constellations. The company’s ambitious plans reflect the growing trend in China’s commercial space sector towards larger rockets and more advanced technology.