Chinese startup LinkSpace on Saturday completed its third test of a reusable rocket in five months, stepping up the pace in China's race to develop a technology key to cheap space launches in an expected global boom in satellite deployment.
LinkSpace's RLV-T5 rocket blasted off in a desert in western Qinghai province at 0230 GMT. It flew as high as 300 meters (984 feet) before returning to the launchpad on its own after 50 seconds, CEO Hu Zhenyu, 26, told Reuters.
The Beijing-based company aims to conduct a "kilometer-level" test at some point, Hu said.
The RLV-T5 previously hovered 20 meters and 40 meters above the ground in two tests in March and April respectively.
China envisions constellations of commercial satellites that can offer services ranging from high-speed internet for aircraft and rural areas to tracking coal shipments and commuter traffic.
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