China private aerospace firm LandSpace has recently completed an RMB 500 million (USD 71 million) Series C financing, led by Country Garden Venture Capital, the investment arm of Country Garden, China’s third-largest property developer.
The company has raised RMB 100 million in its Series B++ round earlier this year, bringing its total funding in 2019 so far to RMB 600 million.
The new funding will be used for the development and launch preparation of LandSpace’s liquid-propellant rocket ZQ-2 and the reuse verification of its rockets. The company also plans to enhance the research and production capabilities of ZQ-2 and liquid-oxygen-methane-fuelled launch vehicle dubbed Tian Que.
LandSpace is a private rocket developer and manufacturer founded in June 2015 by a group of top technical experts from state-owned organizations. The company is working on the development of Liquid-fuel Rocket Engines (LREs) and low-cost commercial launch vehicles with proprietary intellectual property rights.
Its focus at the current stage is the development of a rocket engine powered by liquid oxygen (LOX) and methane, which are used as propellants by both SpaceX’s Raptor and Blue Origin’s BE-4. As a key element in building spacecraft, liquid-fuel engines are more technologically demanding than engines that use solid propellants and therefore take more time to develop.
The company has successfully conducted the full system hot firing test of its TQ-12 model in May, the first 80-ton-thrust-level liquid-oxygen-methane (LOX/LCH4) engine in China, indicating that the engine performance has met the qualifications of rocket launch. It has also completed a hot firing test for its 10t-thrust-level engine TQ-11 in November.
LandSpace plans to equip itself with the ability to independently design, manufacture, assemble and test LOX/LCH4 engines in three years and complete the assembly and testing of its medium liquid launcher by 2020, with the goal of growing into a company with presence throughout the value chain of medium launch vehicles, from R&D, design to the final launch.