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.

OneSpace, the Beijing-based company behind the launch, is one of the dozens of Chinese rivals jostling for a slice of the global space industry, estimated to be worth about $339 billion by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and currently dominated by SpaceX and Blue Origin in the US.

Its nine-meter (30-foot) “Chongqing Liangjiang Star” rocket took off from an undisclosed test field in China’s northwest and reached an altitude of 273 kilometers (170 miles) before falling back to Earth, the company said in a statement.

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