He needed a runway more than five kilometers long to land, descending from 600. After nine months in orbit, it was the second mission of China’s robotic space plane (of which practically no details are known) ended with the ship landing on Monday at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, at the southern tip of the Gobi Desert.
According to the official Chinese news agency Xinhua, the mysterious reusable vehicle has taken off August 4, 2022 From the same space center, where it is in an orbit of 50 degrees inclination. This will be rectified by two thrust maneuvers performed on August 24 and October 23, which should serve the aircraft up to 600 kilometers in a nearly circular orbit.
Most experts agree that the car is more or less Similar to the X-37B robot The US Space Force, made by Boeing, which the US military deals with is just as discreet. Known to be 8.8 meters long, the Yankee model has flown six orbital missions to date, the longest of which lasted 909 days.
Something amazing happened about the Chinese mission at the end of October, when the spacecraft entered orbit small satellite Around her who maneuvered with her until last March. It is believed that the aircraft captured the satellite and stored it in its hold, and since it was within a few kilometers of it, it was used, among other things, to obtain images of the spacecraft.
“The success of the trial marks an important breakthrough in China’s research on Reusable spaceshipsWhich will provide more convenient and affordable round-trip means for the peaceful use of space in the future.”
China has increased its presence in space over the past decade, with a series of lunar missionsand its space station in Earth orbit, and a historic mission to Mars that included an orbiter, rover, and rover.
Reusable spaceplanes are nothing new. NASA’s space shuttles are perhaps the best known example, but in recent years the private sector has not been left behind, among other examples, the billionaire Richard Branson He flew on a space plane from his company, Virgin Galactic.