China Offers Cash to Rocket Startups in Hunt for Its Own SpaceX

As China pushes to challenge the US in outer space, President Xi Jinping is borrowing a page from the playbook NASA used for Elon Musk’s SpaceX by directly supporting local startups looking to take part.

The China Manned Space Agency, which on Tuesday returned three astronauts to Earth who had been working since May on the Tiangong space station, wants to pay private-sector companies for future missions.