CAS Space, a Beijing-based rocket company owned by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, started on Saturday to construct a rocket engine testing facility in Guangdong province, the first of its kind in the southern economic powerhouse.
Located in Aotou township in the provincial capital of Guangzhou, the testing complex will be used in the research and development of liquid-fueled rocket engines and has been listed as one of the construction priorities in Guangdong.
A groundbreaking ceremony took place on Saturday, with the participation of local officials, executives of CAS Space and representatives from construction contractors.
Upon its completion, the complex will be capable of carrying out comprehensive tests for liquid-fueled engines with a maximum thrust of 200 metric tons and integrated liquid-propellant propulsion systems that have a top thrust of 400 tons, according to CAS Space.
The company said the facility will also be open to domestic institutes, universities and enterprises to facilitate their work on liquid-fueled carrier rockets.
Choosing Guangzhou as the site of the testing facility is because the southern metropolis features a robust manufacturing sector and a complete supply chain that can promise a high production efficiency, according to CAS Space.
Company executives said the facility will enable the rocket maker to complete the full circle of testing and manufacturing of liquid-fueled engines in Guangzhou to meet the rising demands of the company”s rockets.
Despite being a leading industrial base in the world, Guangdong had been a virgin land to the space industry until recent years. There was no spacecraft research or production site in the province until October 2020, when CAS Space began to build a rocket plant in Guangzhou’s Nansha district.
The first construction phase of the 40-hectare complex finished in January, giving the company an initial annual production capacity of 30 rockets.
The second of CAS Space’s ZK 1A rocket type was built at the Guangzhou plant, becoming the first rocket ever made in Guangdong. It was launched in June at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China and successfully transported a total of 26 satellites into space.