China’s Taobao working with startup on delivery by reusable rocket

SHENZHEN, China (Reuters) – Chinese rocket maker Space Epoch is teaming up with Alibaba’s online shopping platform Taobao to build reusable rockets for express delivery that can reach the globe in an hour, Space Epoch said. Announced on Sunday.

Space Epoch said in a notice posted on its official WeChat social media account that the project is in the initial testing stage and aims to develop a rocket that can carry up to ten tons of cargo in a 120 cubic meter container.

Alibaba did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Beijing-based Space Epoch is looking to use its ‘Yuanxing-1’ rocket, which completed ignition and offshore recovery testing last year.

The company will conduct rocket delivery tests in the near future, given that it will not be easy to achieve its goals in the short term.

President Xi Jinping has called for the expansion of strategic industries, including the commercial space sector, which is seen as key to building constellations of satellites for communications, remote sensing and navigation.

Last year saw 17 Chinese commercial launches with one failure, amid a new record of 67 orbital launches by China. This was more than the 10 commercial launches in 2022, including two failures.

Space Epoch secured 200 million yuan ($27.70 million) in its third financing round last November.

($1 = 7.2203 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by David Kirton; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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