In a near-secret mission, China launches reusable spacecraft into space
China launched a reusable spacecraft into space as part of a secretive experiment, local press reports. A brief dispatch from the official Xinhua news agency confirmed the launch, carried out with a Long March-2F rocket, from the Jiuquan space center (north).
“After a period of in-orbit operation, the spacecraft will return to its planned landing site in China. It will test reusable technologies during its flight, giving technological support to the peaceful use of space ”. It is all the explanation about the mission offered by the state press.
The Hong Kong daily South China Morning Post cites military sources as confirming the authenticity of a circular ordering launch center workers and visitors not to record the takeoff or talk about it online.
"All units must reinforce the training and management of personnel during missions to ensure that there is no leakage of secrets," the document requires.
According to the sources cited by that newspaper, this launch is the protagonist of many “firsts”: “The ship is new, the launch method is different. That is why we need to guarantee that there is an added security ”.
That person did not offer more details about the mission, although he hinted that it could be a ship similar to the US X-37B, an unmanned space vehicle capable of returning to Earth and that so far has carried out four missions also classified as the ones that have carried secret charges into space.