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Elon Musk’s SpaceX managed to pull off something very few people thought it could — by disrupting one of the most fixed markets in the world with some of the most entrenched and protected players ever to benefit from government contract arrangements: rocket launches.
With a successful launch from the Gobi Desert blasting off at around 1:10 PM Beijing time (1:10 AM ET), Chinese space launch startup ispace (which, awesomely, is also called StarCraft Glory Space Technology Co.) became the first private Chinese commercial space launch provider.
Space startup ispace, which is headquartered in Japan but has a European subsidiary based in Luxembourg, will take part in PROSPECT, a program run by the European Space Agency (ESA) that intends to extract water from the Moon’s southern pole, with a target mission date of 2024 or 2025.