On the morning of May 17, Chongqing Zero One Space & Space Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Zero Space") rocketed its launch at a base in northwestern China.
This is a momentous milestone in the history of China’s aerospace industry. It is not only a model of innovation for the integration of Chinese military and civilians, but also creates a miracle and a new starting point for the development of China’s commercial space. A group of young Chinese scientific research teams with an average age of only 32 years old relied on the market forces of three rounds of financing, and the innovative environment for the development of the aerospace industry in the Liangjiang New District of Chongqing, successfully achieving the first ever privately run commercial suborbital rocket in China.
"Chongqing two rivers" & rdquo; Zero-size space OS-X series of rockets. The rocket has a length of 9m and a total weight of 7,200kg. It flies throughout the atmosphere, with a maximum altitude of 38.7km, a maximum speed exceeding 5.7 times the speed of sound, a flight time of 306s, and a flight distance of 273km. Zero-Zero space autonomously mastered the solid rocket engine technology and its engine thrust reaches 350kN. It can achieve a speed of 0~20 Mach for the customer's load. At the same time, the rocket can flexibly configure various control mechanisms such as gas rudder, air rudder, and attitude control power. Has a strong control ability, can be customized according to the needs of the user to design, to meet the various flight trajectories required for flight testing. The first flight load customer was Shenyang Aviation Industry.
The first flight realized a long-term controlled flight in the near space and acquired a large amount of real flight environment data. The test was a complete success and fully met the customer's requirements.
The OS-X series of rockets is a dedicated flight test platform tailored for aerospace technology verification. It has successfully filled the gaps in China's space flight test professional, open and low-cost booster rockets, and fully assisted the aerospace advanced technology practice and transformation. . The successful development of the OS-X rocket is based on the national "military and civilian integration" policy guidance, private enterprises to enter a strategic model of emerging industries of innovation, the practice of a fast and efficient new commercial space development model, is China's new era of space development Successful exploration on the road.
The company's CEO Shu Chang stated that it took only one year for the OS-X series rockets to fly from the company’s internal project to the completion of the first flight. This “quick” speed is mainly due to the company’s exploration of a new type of commercial aerospace R&D model.
In this flight test, Zhai Qi conducted domestic first research on innovative technologies such as "Lower-Rate Energy," "Low-Range Energy," and "Wireless Communications" to simplify the design and development of rocket systems. The cost has laid a solid foundation: Take Arrow's wireless communication technology as an example, take the rocket from “wireline network” into a new era of “wireless WIFI”, which can reduce the weight of the electrical equipment on the arrow by 50%. Save up to 30% of the cost of Arrowhead's electrical equipment and shorten the 60% design cycle of electrical systems on arrows. It is through constant technological innovation that we can provide our customers with a more efficient, faster and lower-cost service experience.
At 7:33 on May 17th, China's first privately-run commercial rocket OS-X type "Chongqing Liangjiang Star" ignited at a base in northwestern China. Ma Chao, President of Zero Space, and Lin Peng, Deputy Director of Aviation Industry Shenyang, jointly announced the success
This time together with Chongqing’s “Two Stars of the Rivers”, there are also 10 national aerospace top colleges and universities, as well as the “Flying Alliance” logo.
In the five-minute flight, "Chongqing Liangjiang Star"'s optical measurement, radar measurement, and remote sensing monitoring and control are all normal. They have reached the pre-determined test requirements and are able to reliably obtain all important test data.
"Chongqing two rivers" & rdquo; Zero-size space OS-X series of rockets. The rocket has a length of 9m and a total weight of 7,200kg. It flies throughout the atmosphere, with a maximum height of 42km, a maximum speed of more than 5 times the speed of sound, a flight time of 265s, and a flight distance of 273km.
This rocket took only one year from R&D to the final launch, and behind it was a young Chinese research team with an average age of only 32 years.
China's first self-developed commercial rocket successfully launched behind the scenes: its core products have all been independently developed.
From the news
At 17:33:31 on May 17, China's first self-developed commercial rocket OS-X "Chongqing Liangjiang Star" ignited at a base in northwestern China.
"Chongqing Liangjiang Star" rocket design and manufacture company Zero Space Chief Ma Chao and Aviation Industry Shenyang Institute deputy director Lin Peng jointly announced that optical measurement, radar measurement and remote sensing monitoring and control are all normal, to achieve the predetermined test requirements, and reliable access to all Important test data, test success.
According to Ma Chao, "Chongqing Liangjiang Star" is the first rocket of the OS-X series. The rocket has a length of 9 meters and a total weight of 7,200kg. It flies throughout the atmosphere, with a maximum altitude of 38.7km, a maximum speed exceeding 5.7 times the speed of sound, a flight time of 306s, and a flight distance of 273km. Zero-Zero space autonomously mastered the solid rocket engine technology and its engine thrust reaches 350kN. It can achieve a speed of 0 to 20 Mach for the customer's load. The first flight load customer was Shenyang Aviation Industry.
According to Ma Chao’s introduction, in this flight test, the Rocket conducted the first domestic research on “reducing drag rods”, “low-cost energy”, “infra-red wireless communication” and other innovative technologies to simplify the rocket system. The design and reduction of research and development costs have laid a solid foundation: Take Arrow's wireless communication technology as an example, take the rocket from “wireline network” into a new era of “wireless WIFI”, this technology can reduce the arrow on the electrical system equipment 50 % the weight of.
"How Chongqing Chongqing Liangjiang Star" is designed, what are the highlights and what variables will private enterprises bring into commercial space? On May 16th the day before the first flight, the reporter of the paper (www.thepaper.cn) conducted an exclusive interview with Li Yunpeng, Director of the General Control Department of Zero Space.
After one year of rocket development, targeting the flight test market segment
Li Yunpeng told the Yu Xin news reporter that the entire development process of the OS-X rocket has gone through nearly one year, which is mainly divided into two phases: the first is the program phase, the overall design of the sub-systems and the demonstration design; the second is the engineering phase , Including product production and related large-scale experiments.
He introduced that the configuration of the OS-X rocket is a Class 1 solid rocket, which is mainly used for the verification flight test of advanced aerospace technology.
Regarding the level of the rocket in the equivalent of rockets at home and abroad, Li Yunpeng said that it is difficult to make comparisons because rockets targeting the flight test market are few at home and abroad.
Similar foreign rockets of the same type will fly the GO1 rocket of the Generation Orbit Launch Services of the United States in 2019. In this regard, Li Yunpeng said, "Although the former claimed to be the first commercial flight test platform, it is clear that our X-series is truly the first one. We will begin commercial operations in 2018 and complete three flights. It can be said that we are now the fastest in the world, which is equivalent to filling this gap in the business model. ”
He explained that at present, there are many domestic research institutes and colleges and universities that have the need to conduct flight tests. However, in the past, this kind of opportunity was hard to come by. They could only seek opportunities from traditional state-owned enterprises, but because there was no dedicated team and product to do this, even through each This kind of coordination will have this opportunity. The entire cycle will be very long and the cost will be very high. For example, he said, for example, the cost of the X series is about 10 million, and the rockets that used to go into orbit are the cheapest and cost about 60 million. The cheap sounding rockets cannot be satisfied because they do not have control systems or adaptability. Customers with specific ballistic needs. Therefore, the emergence of the OS-X rocket really filled the gap in this market.
The core products are all independently developed and the rocket can be customized
Li Yunpeng introduced that the launch of the rocket from the overall design to the subsystem design, to the important stand-alone product design, including the engine, the core product in the motor system controller, are all independently developed.
In addition, zero-defect space covers almost the entire process of rocket launch. “Large-scale ground experiments are mostly implemented by us and implemented by organizations. All equipment work, including launching and testing of launch sites, is done by us. High property rights; structurally, all drawings and screws are self-designed; some options are outsourced, such as some stand-alone machines in the motor system, because in the market is already very mature, there is no need to design their own; but it is very critical to do the flight The controlled central control unit is developed by itself, and some other sensors are used for outsourcing. ”
It is worth noting that the OS-X rocket can be customized according to customer requirements (such as the size of the carrying capacity, ballistic selection, load size, etc.).
For the scope of customization, Li Yunpeng introduced that the microgravity of the X series rocket tests can reach 600 seconds, the test height window can be 10 km to 1000 km, and the space test speed window can approach 15 Mach. The maximum weight of the main load can be maximized. Up to 2 tons, the main load geometry up to 8 meters & times; 3 meters & times; 3 meters. If the maximum size load is reached, it can be installed in parallel; if the load is small, it can be installed in series in the rocket head, and it can be flexibly configured.
In addition, the X-Series rockets have a gas rudder and air rudder as their control mechanisms, including zero-pitch self-developed attitude control powertrains. "These can all be based on the user's desired flight trajectory after we have evaluated the required control capabilities." Flexible configuration. ”
Motor system integrated design, for the first time to reduce drag rod test
Li Yunpeng summarizes the advanced nature of the X series rockets in two points:
The first point is that the motor system adopts an integrated, integrated design. Among them, the core product of the motor system, the central control unit, is equivalent to several single-machine integrated control systems, continuous control, flight control solution, GPS receiver, power supply and distribution, measurement system data acquisition, and code modulation, etc. Work is integrated into one device and weighs only 1.8 kg.
Li Yunpeng said that the integration of the motor system has enabled rockets to significantly reduce the number of ancillary equipment. The scale of the entire system, including the interconnection of the electrical equipment on the rocket cable network is also greatly reduced. On the one hand, this directly reduces the supporting costs, and on the other hand it also improves the carrying capacity. In addition, the integration of the motor also simplifies the entire test cycle, including the time resources occupying the launch site will also be reduced, these three points are critical for the commercial operation of the rocket.
It is noteworthy that Li Yunpeng also mentioned that the launch of the rocket is also equipped with verification wireless transceiver technology, mainly to prepare for the future to do wireless rockets, "The rocket signal transmission is mainly through the cable mode, we want to pass this The second flight carries out some explorations in this field. If this technology can be realized in the future, the cost and weight of the motor system can be further reduced. ”
The second point is that the rocket has also been tested for drag reduction rods. Li Yunpeng introduced that the drag reduction rod is mainly responsible for drag reduction and heat reduction, which can mainly reduce the resistance and reduce the heat flow during the flight. At present, this technology has some applications in some foreign models, but there is no engineering application in the country. Therefore, this test is equivalent to evaluating the engineering efficiency and obtaining some data to fill the gaps in the domestic research.
Solid engine: short development cycle, low cost
This first flight of the X series rockets is equipped with a zero-inch self-developed solid rocket engine.
In this regard, Li Yunpeng introduced that, compared with liquid engines, the advantages of solid-state engines are that they are easier to use and less dependent on the ground, while liquid engines require refueling and large-scale ground systems. In addition, compared to other solid-state engines, the X-Series engines have a shorter development cycle and lower costs.
How to do these two things? Li Yupeng said that the reason is that the company’s R&D structure is in a flattened mode, and there is basically no hierarchy between R&D departments. Basically, they are directly responsible for the chief designer. The company is basically based on design and “de-administrative management model”. This is equivalent to reducing the interface between many departments, including the uploading of management processes. Secondly, there is a high level of autonomy, and many structures are designed independently. This also makes it easier for various technical products to cooperate with each other, eliminating the need for much time for external coordination.
Rocket's first mission: performing sonic boom test, optical survey and lightning survey
After the rocket was assembled, before the first flight, the rocket underwent a total inspection test, including a simulated flight inspection and an overall inspection of the launch process. The rocket body was heat-sealed and the launch pad was installed and oriented.
On the day of launch, the rocket was transported to the launch site and hoisted onto the launch pad. Before launch, it took about 10 minutes or so for a simple test.
After pressing the launch button, the rocket started its own test mission.
Li Yunpeng introduced that during this first flight mission, there was a test of sonic booms, and the sonic boom was a major technical problem that hindered the development of ultra-high-speed passenger planes. With this flight test, the team would perform a sonic explosion in the flight zone during the rocket flight. test. During the flight, telemetry data will be downloaded and the team can see it in real time.
In addition, the launch site will also complete optical and radar measurements. In the area, there are also people searching for debris. After the flight is complete, it will make a preliminary judgment on the telemetry data and quickly determine whether the launch is successful. After that, the data will be analyzed in detail.
In addition to the two customer-requested drag reduction test and sonic boom test, the first flight of the rocket is also equipped with zero-studded things, the main consideration is for future technical reserves, "such as rockets on the radio, but also Made some batteries for the rocket. ”
Rocket launch safety: equipped with autonomous security control system, once out of control will take measures to let the rocket fall directly in the safety zone
Whenever a rocket is launched, security is the topic of public concern.
In this regard, Li Yunpeng said that the safety of the rocket is a big issue. X series rockets have been doing safety design and analysis throughout the entire design process, including transportation, storage, assembly, testing, etc., in the process of ground use. “We guarantee strict compliance with the safety of testers. Standards, industry standards, and these standards have detailed specifications for each stage of operation. ”
For this first flight, Li Yunpeng stated that the safety of the flight area (airline flight area) and the safety of the first area (emission area) have undergone detailed calculations, and detailed simulation calculations have been conducted on the control of the range. It is reported that the radius of the first district security zone was set at 150 meters. The testers were all one kilometer away, and the launch and landing areas were cleared.
It is worth noting that once the rocket accident occurs, there are related measures. Li Yunpeng introduced that the rocket is equipped with an autonomous security control system and has active security control functions. Once the rocket loses control during the flight, there is a tendency to fly out of the security zone. The security control system will take active measures to allow the rocket to directly fall off. In the safe area.
Li Yunpeng said, "Each launch, the launch site and the authorities are most concerned about security, will conduct a detailed review, strict management and control, involving the entire process. ”
However, at present, there are no clear regulations concerning the participation of private enterprises in commercial space in China. In this regard, Li Yunpeng believes that legislation should be adopted to regulate the situation. He disclosed that domestic legislation in this field is currently being carried out by relevant departments.
It is understood that in the actual operation process, private enterprises generally follow the state-owned enterprise model. Security is evaluated by the competent national authorities including the launch site. Monitoring and control of flight distances are also controlled by the national units. Some external ballistic measurements, optical measurements, etc. Thunder testing is basically state-owned monitoring resources.
Private enterprises get involved in the advantages
In recent years, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Group and the Aerospace Science and Industry Group, who have been serving the China Aerospace "national team" role, faced the commercial space market, enriched the spectrum of rocket products, and introduced a new business service model. Therefore, there is a voice that "the national team" has the strength of technology and has done a very good job. Is it necessary for the private enterprises in the space industry to start from scratch?
In this regard, Li Yunpeng believes that private enterprises are actually a powerful complement to the national team. "The private enterprise's entire mechanism is more flexible, it can attract more social capital, it can take on some more commercialized tasks, and it can take more initiative to tap market demand." For example, in the X-series market, no one has done so before. As a private company, we will be more active in this market demand and will be conducive to aerospace to the public. Many things eventually thrive, or the commercialization model can stimulate development. ”
At present, the institutional shareholders introduced by Zero Space include Chongqing Liangjiang Capital Group, HIT Robot Group, Zhengxuan Investment, Chunxiao Capital, Lenovo Star, Qianhai Indus M&A Fund, Hongtai Fund, China Merchants Venture Capital, Qianhai Wonder , Tongjiang Capital, etc., accumulated financing of nearly 500 million yuan. Among them, the HIT Robot Group is a smart equipment group established by the Harbin Institute of Technology in conjunction with the Heilongjiang Provincial Government and the Harbin Municipal Government. Zhengxuan Investment is a high-tech investment company established by the co-founder of BYD.