China might have closed an important gap with the US in spaceflight. The country’s state-run says (via ) an experimental reusable spacecraft successfully landed on September 6th after spending two days in orbit. Details of the vehicle and its mission are highly secretive, and China hasn’t even provided imagery as we write this. It’s not clear what the spacecraft accomplished or even how it flew, assuming the report is accurate.
There are hints that it might be a rough counterpart to the US Air Force’s X-37B space plane. In 2017, China said it wanted to launch an aircraft-like reusable space vehicle by 2020. The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation hoped to have a space plane ready by 2025365体育备用, albeit primarily for space tourism.