mandag 7. september 2020

China launches and recovers reusable spacecraft, state media says

China has launched and recovered a reusable spacecraft, an important step in the country's space program, state media reported Sunday. The unmanned craft spent two days in orbit after being launched on Friday from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China and landed Sunday at its "scheduled landing site," the Xinhua news agency reported.

"The successful flight marked the country's important breakthrough in reusable spacecraft research and is expected to offer convenient and low-cost round trip transport for the peaceful use of the space," said the brief three paragraph report.

China has not provided any pictures of the spacecraft nor given any details of its size or configuration. It did say it was launched aboard a Long March-2F carrier rocket, the 14th mission for the rocket which has been used for Chinese manned missions and to send its space laboratory into orbit. A Xinhua story three years ago said China would launch a reusable spacecraft this year, saying it would be different from "traditional one-off spacecraft" and "fly into the sky like an aircraft."