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A Chinese rocket before its launch. Photo: Sun Hao/VCG via Getty Images

iSpace announced it has received $90.6 million, or 600 million yuan, in financing from Matrix Partners China — the Chinese affiliate of the American venture capitalist company, Caixin reports.

Why it matters: Now that the Chinese government is allowing companies to explore space, more private Chinese companies are looking to jump into the space business and are growing quickly.

The state of play: China launched its first private rocket earlier this year in May with OneSpace Technologies. The country also launched a satellite to the far side of the moon that same month.

The backdrop: The government had a firm grip on state-owned research agencies and military units working toward space until 2014 when China opened its doors to private companies looking to position themselves to rival companies like SpaceX. The government's goal is to become a "space flight superpower" and to launch a permanently manned space station by 2022.

Go deeper

Kevin McCarthy's rude awakening

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy is learning you can get torched when you try to make everyone happy, especially after an insurrection.

Why it matters: The House Republican leader had been hoping to use this year to build toward taking the majority in 2022, but his efforts to bridge intra-party divisiveness over the Capitol siege have him taking heat from every direction, eroding his stature both with the public and within his party.

The next big political war: redistricting

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats are preparing a mix of tech and legal strategies to combat expected gerrymandering by Republicans, who are planning to go on legal offense themselves.

Why it matters: Democrats failed to regain a single state legislature on Election Day, while Republicans upped their control to 30 states' Houses and Senates. In the majority of states, legislatures draw new congressional district lines, which can boost a party's candidates for the next decade.

34 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Vaccinations, relief timing dominate Sweet 16 call

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaks during a news conference in December with a group of bipartisan lawmakers. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.