March 27 is World Theatre Day.For China's commercial space industry,the date of 2019 is quite dramatic.
On this day,two private rocket companies"set up"and staged two"plays"one sad and one happy.In Jiuquan,Zero One Space Company's first launch vehicle broke into the blue sky;in Longkou,Shandong,Lingke Space Company completed its first low-altitude flight recovery test of its recoverable rocket.
The media like to borrow the name of SpaceX,the American commercial aerospace giant,or its boss to refer to domestic private aerospace enterprises.The words"China SpaceX"and"China Musk"are frequently used in the reports.
SpaceX,founded in 2002,has an enviable development track.In terms of technology,the company has received strong support from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA);in terms of talent,the company has tapped a large number of engineers from the U.S.space industry;and in terms of funding,it has been reported to raise more than$2.4 billion.When its successive failures were on the verge of bankruptcy,NASA also smashed a$1.6 billion bill...
But the situation of Chinese SpaceX is quite different.What are their living conditions and where are their development paths?Sci-tech Daily reporters listened to the voices of industry experts and"Chinese Musks".
SpaceX model is not suitable for China's commercial spaceflight
Huang Zhicheng,an aerospace expert,does not like the term"China Space X".In his view,the SpaceX model is not necessarily the best model for China's commercial space industry.
SpaceX can achieve today's success without the"shoulders of giants".Huang Zhicheng said that NASA is a government research institute funded by the U.S.Congress.Its technology research and development is public welfare and does not compete with enterprises.There are no state-owned enterprises in the U.S.space industry,and the efficiency of old companies such as Boeing and Loma is not very high.For a long time,the United States has made slow progress in lunar exploration and fire detection.After the decommissioning of the space shuttle,they have to rely on Russian spacecraft to transport astronauts to and from the space station.In this context,the United States began to promote the rise of emerging private aerospace enterprises.
In China,the National Defense Science and Technology Bureau and the National Space Administration are encouraging private space flight.However,Huang Zhicheng said that for how to strengthen cooperation between state-owned enterprises and private enterprises in the field of aerospace,open infrastructure,and let private enterprises undertake national tasks,management agencies need to strengthen the foundation of private enterprises,in order to put forward more corresponding policies and measures.
China Aerospace National Team is China Aerospace Science and Technology Group and China Aerospace Science and Technology Group.Huang Zhicheng said that the two groups hold the core technology,a large number of talents,as well as the ground engine test bench,large vibration test bench,wind tunnel and other infrastructure accumulated over the years,which are beyond the reach of domestic private enterprises.
However,in recent years,the two groups have launched the Fast Boat and the Jielong series of small solid launch vehicles,aiming directly at the commercial space launch market.
Yang Feng,CEO of Tianyi Research Institute,a private satellite manufacturer in China,once said that Rockets are a naked competitive market.Customers don't care whether your business is big or small,whether the technology route is solid or liquid,whether the rocket is recyclable,etc.They only care about time,cost and reliability.
In the face of competition,all private rocket companies have the same view:to"take the porcelain work",only"diamond drill"can be produced.
Growing private aerospace enterprises are congenitally malnourished?
It's not easy for self-made private enterprises to come up with diamonds soon.Capital,technology and talent are all the necessary nutrition for their growth.
Compared with the well-funded SpaceX,the domestic Rocket Company is obviously not an order of magnitude.It is understood that zero-one space financing is about 800 million yuan,Lingke space only tens of millions of yuan.
At the same time,there are many people in the capital market who pursue"quick results".Chu Longfei,Lingke Aerospace Technology Director,believes that when cooperating with capital,we should follow the scientific law of rocket development to plan.The company has been in-depth communication with investors in the early stage,and is ready to fight hard battles and protracted battles for the fact that the research and development cycle of launch vehicles is relatively long.
Following the successive failures of Blue Arrow and Zero Space Launches,Star Glory also announced plans to launch launch launch vehicles in the near future.Yao Bowen,assistant president of the company,said that the success or failure of the launch was related to correcting the name of the Chinese private rocket."We hope to achieve a perfect launch in the first half of this year,which is a good thing for the group of private rocket companies.If the first three companies are killed in the first round of development,it may erode the confidence of capital."There is an urgent need for a convincing answer across the industry,"he said.
Compared with capital,the problem of talent is facing more contradictions.
Huang Zhicheng said that the core scientists and technicians who have experienced the practical test of space missions in China are all in the system.
Therefore,private enterprises can only rely on"digging"to obtain the required human resources.In fact,the core talents of private rocket companies mainly come from the national team.
The national team is obviously reluctant to bear the pain of brain drain.Liu Zhirang,president of the Sixth Academy of Aerospace Science and Technology Group,said that at the macro level,talents,whether in the central or private enterprises,are all contributing to China's space industry.However,the problems of confidentiality and intellectual property protection brought about by the flow of talents are worrying.
The fermentation of"Zhang Xiaoping's resignation"in 2018 has made the problem of aerospace talent flow more sensitive.