China launches secretive spacecraft – media — Analysis

This experimental spacecraft will test both in-orbit technology and reusable ones to promote peaceful space travel.

According to media reports, China launched its new spacecraft using the Long March-2F rocket.

The vessel will “You can operate for a certain period in orbit” and then return to a landing site in China, the Xinhua news agency reported. According to the outlet, certain in-orbit and reusable space technology will be tested during the mission. This is done with the purpose of peacefully using space.

According to the news agency, this was the 18th Long March-2F launch from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, Gobi Desert.

China expands orbital outpost

China’s previous mission featuring a reusable experimental spaceship took place in September 2020. An unknown object was discovered during the trip, which lasted for several days. The spaceship returned home to China shortly after.

Although China tends to release few details about these secretive missions, the launches largely correspond to what was laid out in a document called ‘China’s Space Program: A 2021 Perspective’, which was released by the nation’s authorities this past January.

Vowing to use outer space for peaceful purposes, this white paper mentioned that in the next five years China would “Continue to invest in research and development of key technologies that will enable reusable space transportation systems. Test flights should be conducted accordingly.”

Long March-2F launched its maiden flight in 1999.

China completed a space flight earlier in the month to expand its Tiangong space station and install one of its two proposed lab modules. The station, which is currently inhabited only by three Chinese astronauts, is intended to serve as a laboratory for experimental science in biology and gravity.

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