Good day and welcome to episode 5 of the Dongfang Hour, the China Aerospace and Tech Podcast. Today we are discussing China’s funky space industry. Before going into our list of funky projects, we will have two definitions of “funky” in this episode:
- Plain old funky. This refers to projects that are funky in every sense of the word–funky technologies, business models, etc. This includes space planes, solar harvesting, and electromagnetic rockets.
- Funky in an “only in China” way. This refers to companies buying orbital slots as a way of moving money out of China, or online video giants that can justify buying their own EO satellite.
Without further ado, the links to our list of funky projects:
- Space planes
- Website of Space Transportation, one of the few commercial space companies in China who’s main area of focus is space planes.
- Article (in French) on CASIC’s Tengyun, and specifically the Turbine Based Combined Cycle (TBCC) engine configuration.
- CASIC’s Five Clouds
- Article on CASIC’s Five Clouds project, as shown at the 2018 China Commercial Aerospace Forum in Wuhan.
- Article on CASIC’s Five Clouds project from Baidu Baike (sort of Chinese version of Wikipedia).
- Electromagnetic launch
- September 2020 press release from Guangzhou Guoyao Tech about electromagnetic launch ambitions. Separately, Guoyao Tech’s website can be found here.
- Article about Chinese company Tatwah Smartech trading an orbital slot for a 49% stake in a Sri Lankan satellite operator.
- Article about Tatwah’s adventures in Sri Lanka
- Partial list of satellites sold by CGWIC to developing countries.
- Commsat/LadyBeetle Selfie Satellite
- Article about the LadyBeetle satellite.
- Article interviewing the Commsat CEO about total cost of the LadyBeetle program, and the program’s results.
- Bilibili Satellite
- Artificial Moon/Chengdu Death Star
- Video with information on the program
- Article debunking the project as an “academic study” rather than a real business
- Chongqing as future solar harvesting center of China
- Article outlining a plan to make Chongqing the center of China’s solar power harvesting industry by 2030. Technical references here and here about the feasibility of such solar-based solar power harvesting.
Thanks again for listening, and we look forward to seeing you next time!