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China launches mystery reusable spaceplane for third time [updated]


Waspie_Dwarf

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China launches mystery reusable spaceplane for third time

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China launched its experimental reusable spacecraft for the third time Thursday while maintaining strict secrecy around the mission.

A Long March 2F rocket lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert Dec. 14, sending a “reusable test spacecraft” into low Earth orbit, Chinese language state media Xinhua reported.

Airspace closure notices suggest a launch time of around 10:00 a.m. Eastern (1500 UTC), but the report, published within an hour of expected launch, did not provide a time. The terse report stated that the test spacecraft will “operate in orbit for a period of time” before returning to its intended landing site in China.

Read More: ➡️ SpaceNews

 

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  • The title was changed to China launches mystery reusable spaceplane for third time [updated]
 

China’s secretive spaceplane raises its orbit, but yet to deploy satellites

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China’s experimental reusable spacecraft recently performed maneuvers to raise its orbit but is apparently yet to release objects as it did during previous flights.

A Long March 2F rocket lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert Dec. 14, beginning the third flight of what is considered to be a Chinese spaceplane. Though little is known about the project, it is widely thought the spacecraft is analogous to the U.S. Air Force’s X-37B.

Read More: ➡️ SpaceNews

 

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  • 3 months later...

China’s secretive spaceplane releases object into orbit

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China’s experimental reusable spacecraft has released an unknown object into orbit while conducting its third mission.

U.S. Space Force space domain awareness teams cataloged the object as 59884 (International designator 2023-195G). The suspected spaceplane launched Dec. 14, 2023 and has been in orbit 164 days. The object appears to have been released May 24.

Read More: ➡️ SpaceNews

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  • 3 weeks later...

China’s secretive spaceplane conducts proximity operations with small spacecraft

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China’s experimental reusable spaceplane has been using a smaller spacecraft to test proximity operations, potentially even capturing the object.

China launched its spaceplane for the third time via a Long March 2F rocket Dec. 14, 2023. The spacecraft released an object into orbit, first cataloged by U.S. Space Force space domain awareness teams May 24, following orbit-raising and months of stable operation.

Read More: ➡️ SpaceNews

 

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