(Bloomberg) -- Beijing-based startup LandSpace Technology Corp. scored another success by sending a second rocket powered by a methane-based fuel into space.
The rocket, ZQ-2, took off at 7:39 a.m. Saturday Beijing time from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the northwestern Gobi Desert, the company said in a statement.
LandSpace sent the world’s first methane-fueled rocket into orbit in July, beating Western rivals including Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Read More: Chinese Startup Beats Musk With Launch of First Methane Rocket
SpaceX and others have been developing rockets that can use methane-based fuel, which has potential to be cleaner and safer than solid propellants, liquid hydrogen and other fuels currently used.
Saturday’s launch was the first commercial mission of the ZQ-2, carrying three locally made satellites. The rocket had been transported to the launch area on Dec. 1, waiting for the right conditions for takeoff, the company said on Weibo.
The launch was part of a collaboration between privately owned LandSpace and toy designer Pop Mart International Group Ltd., which had its logo on the rocket’s exterior. As of June, Hong Kong-listed Pop Mart had 340 stores in mainland China and 55 others offshore.
Read More: Chinese Rocket Startup Resumes Launches After Its First Failure
LandSpace is developing a reusable rocket and expects a test flight in 2025, Chief Executive Officer Zhang Changwu told local media outlet Yicai in July.
--With assistance from Winnie Zhu.
(Updates with details of transport to launch area in 5th paragraph.)
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