On May 8th, China’s experimental spacecraft successfully returned to its scheduled landing site after a 276-day flight. This achievement marks a significant breakthrough in China’s research on reusable spacecraft technology and lays the foundation for peaceful space exploration.
A reusable spacecraft is a type of spacecraft that can be used multiple times. It has the ability to travel quickly through the atmosphere and move freely between Earth’s surface and space, carrying both crew members and payloads. Additionally, it can remain in orbit for extended periods of time while performing various tasks. This technology will have numerous applications, including civilian space tourism, astronaut transportation, resupplying space stations, and launching satellites into orbit at a reduced cost.
The reusable experimental spacecraft just returned was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwest China’s Gobi Desert using a Long March 2F carrier rocket. This mission marked China’s second public demonstration of its reusable experimental spacecraft capabilities. The previous orbital test occurred in September 2020, with the craft traveling for just under two days in orbit.