After three years of untiring hard work, the Chinese scientists have managed to launch and safely land back their first reusable spaceship.
There has been a lot of late development by multiple states in progressing towards space. The same goes for China; however, their space missions are extra-ordinarily secretive as compared to other state’s space programs activities.
Most of the news relevant to space tech and development comes from NASA, ESA, or SpaceX, respectively. Chinese space activities are observed not to have a lot of fan following compared to some other space programs that gather loads of attention, even if we talk about the previous years.
The Chinese officials in 2017 announced and first introduced their plans to launch a reusable spacecraft in 2020. The reusable rocket would land horizontally, a similar position on which it projects. The concept of this rocket is identical to that of a SpaceX model, however, China’s version is unique in its way.
The reusable aircraft was successfully launched into space on Friday, 4th of September, 2020, with the help of a Long March 2F carrier rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center located in the Gobi desert. Luckily, as planned, on Sunday, the Chinese news channel, Xinhua, reported that the reusable spaceship made its first safe landing back to the earth.
The spacecraft came back after spending two days in the terrestrial space orbit. The secretive and successful mission has encouraged Chinese authorities to master the art of building reusable spacecraft tech. It has also prepared the Chinese space program for next-gen futuristic human-crewed space missions.
“The spacecraft mission was to test the reusable technology during space flight and to provide technology-related support in peace exploration of space,” a statement from China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.
The reusable spaceship stayed in orbit for the course of the weekend before making its scheduled landing in a location in China. The staff was prohibited from making any videos or revealing any secret details regarding the space mission, and this is the most known about it.
Keeping such a space mission secret from the world is vital as the launch in itself involves a lot of firsts. The spacecraft design is new, and the launch method is also different; anything could have gone wrong with its unique design; however, fortunately, it worked perfectly.
Comparison With American X-37 B
Some believe that the secretive Chinese mission spaceship somewhat resembles the U.S X-37B, which was an American experimental orbital test vehicle, and it’s the only classified as reusable before the Chinese version. X-37B is currently on its sixth mission and has made these trips to and fro from earth to space, respectively. Seemingly, the only and a significant difference between both the aircraft is that the American reusable spaceship is crewless while the Chinese version is human-controlled.
To give us a better insight into what’s happening, Xi’an Aerospace Propulsion made a statement, “the mission will be an important scientific experimental mission, and will lay the foundation for future manned space programs.”
Let’s hope that this would not lead things to a space war as many say its somewhere close with superpowers making incredible advancements in the space tech and futuristic spacecrafts.