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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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China's Biggest Missile Maker to Tap Into Global Rocket Industry

Fourth Academy of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. plans to establish commercial launching service for domestic and foreign clients.

(Photo : Getty Images) The Fourth Academy of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. plans to establish commercial launching service for domestic and foreign clients.

The biggest missile maker in China is planning to utilize its solid-fuel rockets to gain entry into the international market, according to a senior rocket designer.

According to Hu Shengyun, the head of the Fourth Academy of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, his firm is considering establishing a company that will offer commercial launches for its domestic and foreign clients. This move will effectively put an end to the monopoly by China Great Wall Industry Corp., the current sole authorized commercial service launch provider in the country.

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Since 2009, China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. has been developing Kuaizhou solid-fuel rockets, with the aim of introducing a cheaper, quick-response projectiles to the commercial launching industry.

Hu revealed that there are more than 50 local companies operating the satellite industry, however, it takes them a longer time to launch them as state-funded satellites are always prioritized. He noted that small-time rocket businesses cannot commit to high expenditures.

Kuaizhou rockets is targeting small-time enterprises that are looking for affordable vehicles to launch their satellites.

The Fourth Academy launched its first flight - the Kuaizhou 1 - at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in September 2013 to set up an Earth observation satellite in the orbit. The following year (in November 2014), it sent Kuaizhou 2 at the same launching pad.

Hu revealed in his interview with China Daily that the company is currently developing Kuaizhou 11, and it is set to be launched next year. Kuaizhou 11, according to Hu, has a wider diameter and has a 1-metric-ton payload capacity.

Hu estimates that in the next four years, the market value of China's commercial space activities will grow up to 30 billion yuan ($46. Billion) annually. If business goes smoothly for the Fourth Academy, the firm plans to produce up to 30 Kuaizhou solid-fuel rockets every year.

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