An anonymous user bought a real rocket for $ 5.6 million during a livestream online auction on April Fool’s Day.
On April 1, a Kuaizhou-1A (or KZ-1A) rocket developed by ExPace, a commercial subsidiary of the defense company China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), was auctioned online. ExPace’s Cao Meng announced the item at a livestream auction held by Taobao, the world’s largest e-commerce website. In just five minutes, more than 800 people deposited 500,000 yuan (approximately $ 4,611.50) in bail. according to CGTN.
The KZ-1A rocket, which is primarily used to launch small satellites into orbit, was quickly sold to an anonymous buyer for 40 million yuan, which is approximately $ 5.6 million at current exchange rates. The purchase of the KZ-1
The KZ-1S missile has three solids and an upper stage with liquid propellant. The missile can deliver over 441 pounds. (200 kg) payload in a sun-synchronous orbit.
An Expace Kuaizhou-1A missile to be launched from Jiuquan in April will be dedicated to medical personnel fighting the coronavirus in Wuhan. pic.twitter.com/sH5Nw4Z6qjMarch 30, 2020
CASIC plans to launch the KZ-1A rocket with new satellites on board in April this year. The launch, sponsored by Chinese automaker GAC, is dedicated to the medical community in Wuhan City, China, where the COVID-19 outbreak, which is now a global pandemic, began to grow.
This collaboration between Taobao and the ExPace team attracted over two million viewers after the rocket auction, and the topic was viewed over 500 million times today (April 3) on the Sina Weibo social media platform. according to SpaceNews.
This commercial missile sale is part of a new but growing commercial space sector in China. State-owned space companies remain the main source of space missions from China, but private companies have emerged and received support. In fact, in June 2019, an ordinance was issued to support the development of commercial space missions by China’s national science, technology, and industry administration for national defense, and the Central Military Commission’s Equipment Development Department, CGTN said.
The KZ-1A rocket in particular is limited to launching only commercial payloads and has been launched eight times since its first launch in 2017. The company is currently developing the Kuaizhou-11 rocket, which is scheduled to launch for the first time in 2017 the first half of 2020. The new Kuaizhou-11 rocket will be able to weigh 2,205 pounds. (1,000 kg) payload into space.