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China Launches Reusable Experimental Spacecraft

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
September 4, 2020
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A Chinese rocket launched a “reusable experimental spacecraft” into Earth orbit on Friday.

The Long March 2F booster lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.

China has released no details about the vehicle. However, it could be similar to the U.S. military’s X-37B reusable space plane.

“After a period of in-orbit operation, the spacecraft will return to the scheduled landing site in China. It will test reusable technologies during its flight, providing technological support for the peaceful use of space,” the official Xinhua news agency said.

The Long March 2F rocket has been used to launch Shenzhou crewed spacecraft and two Tiangong space stations. This was the 14th launch of the booster.

4 responses to “China Launches Reusable Experimental Spacecraft”

  1. ThomasLMatula says:

    Look like they are trying to make use of all the IP they’ve stolen from the USA.

  2. Robert G. Oler says:

    this is interesting in a few ways

    first the rumor (and that is all it is) that they launched the vehicle outside the payload shroud lines (or with some form of it) is very very impressive

    second it is growing quite clear that for payloads “wings” are a solid way to make an economically reusable craft (the Chinese have developed a large capsule but seem to be going this way)

    three there are oh oh so many uses this can be put to

    I would be really curious what it looks like, a Chinese Sanger?

  3. windbourne says:

    Quite the surprise on this popping up. I wonder what ppl will say when CHina launches their space station, starts offering trips to space for other nations, and in 5 years, launches for the moon with ppl?
    Oh, another surprise?

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