Chinese rocket startup successfully puts satellite into orbit

Chinese private rocket firm Galactic Energy successfully launched carrier rocket CERES-1 on Saturday, making it a second Chinese startup to complete an orbital launch.

The rocket blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 3:12 p.m. while sending Apocalypse-11 satellite into the planned orbit.

The CERES-1 rocket is a small solid-propellant launch vehicle developed by Galactic Energy, a young company set up in early 2018.

The Apocalypse-11 satellite will be used to acquire and transmit data in orbit, being one of a series of Chinese satellites dubbed the Apocalypse constellation.

Galactic Energy announced on Tuesday that it had completed its round A financing worth 200 million yuan ($30.22 million) in September. The company said the fund raised would be put into developing its liquid propellant rocket Pallas-1 and also on ramping up the mass production capability for its Ceres-1 rocket.

Prior to the Galactic Energy launch, Beijing Interstellar Glory Space Technology Ltd., also known as iSpace, successfully launched Hyperbola-1 from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in July 2019, making it the first Chinese private firm to achieve so.

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