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Successful Flight of Chinese Sub-orbital Space Rocket

Successful Flight of Chinese Sub-orbital Space Rocket

Aug. 28, 2022 (EIRNS)–China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC) announced on August 26 that China’s reusable sub-orbital space carrier made its first successful repeated-use experiment flight on Friday.

The suborbital vehicle launched vertically from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert on Friday, Aug. 26 Beijing time (Aug. 25 Eastern), according to CASC, China’s main space contractor. It landed stably at an airport in Alxa Right Banner in North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region after finishing a flight in the sub-orbit as planned, according to the announcement. The short statement provided neither images of the craft nor information such as time, duration or apogee of the launch.

CASC’s statement declared the complete success of the flight test, and represents a leap in the development of China’s space transportation technology from single-use to reusable.

Song Zhongping, a space analyst and TV commentator, told the Global Times that sub-orbital carriers, which are used for sending payloads to about 100 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, could serve a variety of purposes such as ferrying satellites. The lifting-body and sub-orbital characteristics mean that the carrier has aerodynamic design and can conduct operations in sub-orbit. Such craft have more lifting power, Song explained.

Technologies required for reusable sub-orbital flights are very demanding, as the craft had experienced both the environment in space and that under the Earth’s atmospheric influence, experts said.

The latest successful repeated-use flight means that both materials and engine system of China’s domestic reusable sub-orbital vehicle can be reused, which is a great technical breakthrough and remarks a technical milestone, Song said. In a statement the CASC provided to the Global Times, the CASC said that it was working on a series of reusable space launch and transport systems, which will greatly boost the country’s space shuttle capability, lowering costs and empowering future development in this domain.

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