China launches reusable spacecraft, retains mission particulars secret

Beijing, September 4

China on Friday efficiently launched a reusable experimental spacecraft whose mission particulars have been saved secret, in response to media experiences.

The spacecraft was launched on a Long March-2F provider rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China, state-run Xinhua information company reported.

After a interval of in-orbit operation, the spacecraft will return to a predetermined touchdown web site in China. It will check reusable applied sciences throughout its flight, offering technological assist for the peaceable use of house, it mentioned.

However, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported that the house mission has been shrouded in secrecy.

Quoted an official memo circulating on social media, the Post mentioned staffers and guests to the launch web site have been warned in opposition to filming the lift-off and even discussing it on-line.

The doc additionally says “all units should strengthen personnel security education and personnel management during missions to ensure that there is no leakage of secrets.”

A Chinese army supply mentioned “there are many firsts in this launch. The spacecraft is new, the launch method is different. That’s why we need to make sure there is extra security.”

The official declined to touch upon the small print of the mission however advised “maybe you can take a look at the US X-37B”.

The X-37B is an unmanned house airplane that operates like a smaller model of the Space Shuttle, which is launched by a rocket and cruises again to earth for a runway touchdown.

It has flown 4 categorised missions to this point, carrying secret payloads on long-duration flights in Earth orbit, the Post report mentioned.

Friday’s launch comes weeks after China launched Tianwen-1, the nation’s first Mars mission, from Hainan in late July.

The China National Space Administration mentioned its spacecraft, together with an orbiter, lander and rover, was performing properly on its approach to Mars.

A month earlier than that, China accomplished the community of satellites for its BeiDou navigation community, a competitor to the Global Positioning System (GPS) system of the US. PTI

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