Military officials should be worried about a Chinese unmanned space plane that came back to Earth after 276 days, according to experts, because the mission appears to demonstrate Beijing’s consistent ability to compete with or surpass U.S. technology and because the vehicle has the capacity to inflict damage on at-risk American satellites.
This is a huge step forward for Beijing’s quickly developing space program, even though specifics concerning the spaceplane are few, and the length of the voyage pales in comparison to the benchmark 908 days that the comparable X-37B reusable spaceplane of the U.S. Space Force spent in orbit upon returning last year.
A report reveals that China’s robotic space aircraft has completed its second orbital flight.
Chinese official media Xinhua reports that the unidentified reusable rocket landed at China’s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on May 8, capping after a 276-day trip to Earth orbit.
Xinhua said on Monday that the experiment’s success was a significant step forward in China’s efforts to develop reusable spacecraft technology, which would allow for easier and cheaper round-trip ways for peaceful utilization of space in the future.
On August 4, 2022, the Jiuquan-based space aircraft took off on a mission about which little is known but much mystery surrounds.
The report shows that the vehicle launched an object into space last October. Experts debated whether the object in question was a servicing module signaling the impending return of the space aircraft to Earth.
Given the robotic spacecraft’s extended flight duration, some have speculated that it is a tiny satellite meant to keep an eye on the Chinese space aircraft.
The first orbital voyage for the Chinese space aircraft was in September 2020, and it only lasted for two days.
It has been speculated by Western analysts that the vehicle is substantially analogous to the unmanned X-37B used by the United States Space Force. The X-37B has conducted six orbital flights, the longest of which went 909 days, but the American military is equally secretive about it.