LandSpace’s among the at least half a dozen Chinese private rocket companies founded since 2014, when the country began calling for private capital investments in building and operating commercial satellites. China’s also trying to get other nations to use its global satellite network, Beidou, a system China hopes can become a competitor to the US Global Positioning System.

The failed attempt of LandSpace’s rocket, known as Zhuque-1, or “vermilion bird,” a mythological symbol that represents fire, means that so far no Chinese private firm has succeeded in an orbital launch, a key milestone for the industry. Earlier this year, other Chinese rocket makers like OneSpace and iSpace successfully carried out suborbital launches.

LandSpace had said it would launch liquid-fueled Zhuque-2 next year. It’s unclear how the setback will alter its plans.

On Sunday, LandSpace’s founder Zhang Changwu posted a picture on social media platform WeChat of Jiuquan, observing it was the same site from where China tested its first nuclear missile in 1966, a time when the country was far from the economic and technological giant that it is today. Along with the picture, he wrote, “When you have nothing, it’s the will that matters. But will is even more important when you have everything.”

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.