"Chongqing Liangjiang Star" rocket, developed by Chinese private firm OneSpace Technology, takes off from a launchpad in an undisclosed location in northwestern China May 17, 2018. Wan Nan/Chongqing Ribao via REUTERS
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A suborbital rocket was launched into space Thursday by a start-up in China's burgeoning commercial aeronautics industry, as private firms snap at the heels of their dominant American rivals.Its nine-meter "Chongqing Liangjiang Star" rocket took off from an undisclosed test field in China's northwest and reached an altitude of 273 kilometers before falling back to Earth, the company said in a statement.Once dominated by state research agencies and the military, China allowed private companies to enter the space industry to build and launch satellites in 2014 .Another Chinese start-up, iSpace, launched a suborbital rocket, the Hyperbola-1S, from a test field in the southern island of Hainan last month.
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