An anomaly occurred within “tens of seconds” after OneSpace’s OS-M1 rocket blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre on Wednesday, the official Technology Daily reported, declaring that the launch had failed, Reuters reported.
OneSpace’s rocket was carrying the Lingque-1B earth-observing satellite developed by Beijing-based ZeroG Lab. The satellite maker, partly funded by Shenzhen-listed Huaxun Fangzhou Co, has plans to build a network of remote sensing satellites.
Footage apparently from the launch site that was widely shared on Chinese social media showed the rocket had lost control within a minute of takeoff.
A public relations official at Beijing-based OneSpace did not confirm or deny that the launch had failed. The official said he was awaiting word from the launch site in Gansu province and that a company statement could be expected later.
Tens of private Chinese space companies have joined a race in recent years to develop rockets capable of delivering low-cost micro-satellites with commercial applications, backed by mostly Chinese venture capital.
In May 2018, OneSpace became the first private firm to send an independently developed rocket into space. That was followed by successful suborbital launches by another company, iSpace, four months later.