You've likely never seen a rocket launch quite like this. When the Chinese commercial spaceflight startup OneSpace launched a rocket test flight today (Sept. 7), a satellite was watching. The result: one amazing video.
The video shows OneSpace's OS-X1 rocket blast off from China's Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert during a suborbital test of the solid-fueled booster. It was captured by China's Jilin-1 satellite in orbit 332 miles (535 kilometers) above Earth and was shared on the country's social media site Weibo, according to China's GB Times. Twitter user Dafeng Cao then shared the video on Twitter, where it has been viewed more than 23,000 times.
"At 12:10:03 on September 7, 2018, One Space commercial sub-orbital rocket OS-X1 was successfully launched at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. The rocket can provide a flight speed of Mach 4.5 for the load," OneSpace representatives wrote on Twitter. "This is the second successful launch of this series of rockets."
Friday's test flight reached an altitude of 21.7 miles (35 kilometers) and lasted 200 seconds, according to the GB Times. As OneSpace's Twitter update noted, it was the second launch of an OS-X rocket; the first lifted off on May 22.
OneSpace's OS-X rocket is a 30-foot-tall (9 meters) rocket designed to allow customers to test technologies and fly research experiments into suborbital space. It is the first of a planned family of OneSpace rockets that will eventually launch payloads into orbit.
The Beijing-based OneSpace is aiming to launch its first orbital flight of the company's larger OS-M booster later this year, OneSpace has said.
The Jilin-1 satellite that recorded Friday's OneSpace test flight launched in October 2015. Jilin-1 is an Earth observation satellite, and became China's first commercial high-resolution optical imaging satellite when it launched into orbit.
- Tariq Malik, Space.com Managing Editor
Tariq joined Purch's Space.com team in 2001 as a staff writer, and later editor, covering human spaceflight, exploration and space science. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Google+, Twitter and on Facebook.
- Tariq Malik, Space.com Managing Editor on