10:49 GMT27 February 2021
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    BEIJING (Sputnik) – Сhina carried out on Thursday an inaugural launch of two research satellites into orbit aboard the SQX-1 Y1 carrier rocket made by iSpace, a private Chinese rocket manufacturer, the company said in a statement.

    The launch took place at 1:00 p.m. local time (05:00 GMT) from Jiuquan, a state-owned facility in the Gobi desert in northern China.

    iSpace noted that the event was historical because it made the company the first to successfully launch a rocket into orbit after two other private aerospace companies had failed to do so.

    China's private LandSpace and OneSpace companies previously attempted launches this past October and March, respectively, but failed, casting uncertainty on China's private space industry.

    The SQX-1 Y1 is a four-stage rocket that has a payload of 660 pounds, which means its cargo-bearing capacity is greater than any other private Chinese rocket. It spans 65 feet and weighs 34 tonnes.

    Gobi desert, rocket, satellite, China
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