China 2022-11-15T05:06:14+02:00
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Chinese private launch Deep Blue Aerospace completed a 100-meter level launch and landing test with its Nebula

Chinese private launch Deep Blue Aerospace completed a 100-meter level launch and landing test with its Nebula M1 VTVL test stage

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Chinese private launch the Nebula M1. Photo by Xinhua.
Chinese private launch the Nebula M1. Photo by Xinhua.

Deep Blue Aerospace conducted the Nebula M1 vertical landing and vertical takeoff test at a facility at Tongchuan, Shaanxi Province, reaching a height of 100 meters before a powered descent and vertical landing, the company announced Oct. 13. This was reported by the Xinhua News Agency. http://www.chinaview.cn/

Footage from the test shows liftoff occurring with landing legs already deployed. The Nebula M1 hovers over the launch and landing area before bouncing after initial touchdown but apparently remaining upright at the end of the video.

Chinese private launch the Nebula M1. Video by Xinhua.

The Nebula M1 is powered by a variable thrust Leiting-5 electric-pump-fed kerolox engine.

The test is part of the development of the 2.25-meter-diameter Nebula-1 orbital launcher, with a planned first flight in 2023. The Nebula-1 is to be capable of lifting 500 kilograms to a 500-kilometer Sun-synchronous orbit.

The test follows a "hop" to around 10 meters in July which used the same Nebula-M1 reusable VTVL prototype as test. Deep Blue Aerospace describes the tests as "grasshopper jumps", referencing SpaceX’s Grasshopper experimental flights as part of Falcon 9 development.

Chinese private launch the Nebula M1. Photo by Xinhua.

A Deep Blue Aerospace spokesperson told that the technical team is currently reviewing test data ahead of deciding the next steps.

The firm is currently working on the assembly of the followup Nebula-M2 test stage and testing of the launcher’s Leiting-20, 20-ton-thrust kerolox engine.

Chinese private launch the Nebula M1. Photo by Xinhua.

Beijing Deep Blue Aerospace Technology Co., Ltd. was established in 2017 and is headquartered in Nantong City near the mouth of the Yangtze River. Notably Deep Blue Aerospace is directly developing liquid launch vehicles, skipping solid rockets which a number of Chinese startups have opted to pursue first.

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