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Reusable spacecraft's successful 2-day mission proves vehicle convenient, affordable

By Zhao Lei | | Updated: 2020-09-06 11:01
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China's reusable experimental spacecraft returned to its preset landing site on Sunday morning after a two-day in-orbit operation.

According to Xinhua News Agency, the spacecraft's mission was completely successful and proved that the vehicle is able to carry out spaceflight in a convenient, affordable manner.

The agency did not give details about the operation, such as how the spacecraft made the landing and the landing site.

The reusable experimental vehicle, whose name has yet to be disclosed, was lifted atop a Long March 2F carrier rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on Friday afternoon.

China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, the leading State-owned space conglomerate, said after the launch that the robotic vehicle was tasked with verifying reusable technologies that will serve as technological foundations for the peaceful use of space.

The company did not elaborate on details of the mission and the spacecraft, nor publish pictures of the liftoff or scenes inside the command and control hall.

One of the company's subsidiaries, Xi'an Aerospace Propulsion Institute in Northwest China's Shaanxi province, said on its WeChat account in March that "the next Long March 2F flight will be an important scientific experimental mission and will lay the foundation for future manned space programs".

The mission "will be crucial to next-generation aerospace technologies". Therefore the institute "must make sure it will succeed", the institute said.

According to experts, reusable spacecraft will have a wide range of applications, such as carrying out space tours for civilians, transporting astronauts, resupplying space stations and placing satellites into orbit at a lower cost.

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