China’s mysterious space plane is on the agenda. China’s mysterious spaceplane has landed for the second time after nine months in orbit, Live Science reported. China’s official news agency, Xinhua, reported the experiment earlier this month, saying, “The fact that it was completely successful marks a significant breakthrough in our country’s research for reusable spacecraft technology.” However, it is rumored that the mysterious plane dropped an unidentified object into orbit.
DETAILS ARE UNCERTAIN! HOWEVER…
According to the report, the Chinese government has released little additional information about the vehicle. While details about the vehicle’s design, capabilities and performance remain unclear, experts think the Chinese plane is similar to the US spaceplane Boeing X-37B, which debuted in 2010. Like the X-37B, the Chinese vehicle appears uncrewed and relatively small.
(US space plane Boeing X-37B)
Presumably, the aircraft first flew in September 2020 and spent a short two-day period in orbit before returning. According to a report by the US-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), its final mission began in August 2022, when it took off with a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northern China.
The exact purpose of the mission remains unclear.
‘OBJECT’ INSTALLED BY MYSTERIOUS AIRCRAFT
According to the CSIS report, the vehicle dropped an “object” into orbit in October. It was reported that the object disappeared in January, but suddenly reappeared on satellite tracking radars in March.
Experts believe this could indicate that the aircraft is capable of launching satellites into orbit with some sort of robotic arm.
“The Chinese are working hard with robotic arms in other contexts as well, like the space station,” Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard & Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, told Nature. said.
If that’s the case, the primary purpose of the aircraft may be to repair damaged satellites or remove debris from orbit.
However, this does not rule out the possibility of the Chinese aircraft or the X-37B having military capabilities.
Until more confirmed details emerge, speculation about this mysterious Chinese spaceplane and the unidentified object it dropped into orbit seems likely to continue.