Yang Yiqiang, founder of a government-backed company researching the commercial use of rockets, predicts that commercial spaceflight will be “in full bloom” by 2027. In 2018, as general manager, he also oversaw the Long March 11 rocket project.
Also read: NASA’s Perseverance rover has never captured Sun Halo on Mars’ surface before
According to Yang, in an interview with Global Times, China’s commercial space industry has moved from the 1.0 era, defined by fundamental manufacturing and research and development (R&D), to the 2.0 era, fueled by applications and market forces.
After another decade, the market should reach the same level of progress as the United States.
According to Yang, suborbital flight is the most developed and suitable for most people of the many types of space travel. The 10-minute flight would carry passengers across the Kármán Line, the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and space, where they would experience weightlessness for a few minutes.
It is estimated that China will launch its first commercial sub-orbital space journey in 2025, with tickets reportedly costing between 2 and 3 million yuan (about $287,200 and $430,800).
According to an industry assessment, by 2021 China had more than 370 companies specializing in satellite manufacturing, rocket launch and key satellite-based downstream services in orbit.
However, the size of China’s commercial industry players is still very small, and few of their rocket and satellite operations are profitable.