The third space-related story today is that of China successfully launching a test reusable spacecraft aboard its Long March-2F rocket.
The successful event took place on Friday according to a state-owned Chinese media report which narrated that the event took place at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.
Upon a successful test launch, the spacecraft is expected to make a return to a planned landing site after operating in the earth’s orbit for some time in order to provide technical validations for reuses.
China alongside the United States continues to battle in the space race with the former saying this new milestone is a big step towards developing reusable space transportation systems.
Also not to forget about the country’s Tiangong space station whose construction was completed back in 2022.
The first module of the space station, Tianhe, was launched successfully in April 2021, and the second module, Wentian, was launched into orbit in the first half of 2022.
The Tiangong space station is designed to be a modular space station consisting of three main modules, namely, the Tianhe module, the Wentian module, and the Mengtian module.
The Tianhe module serves as the core module of the space station, providing life support and living quarters for astronauts, while the Wentian and Mengtian modules are being used for scientific experiments and research.
The Tiangong space station is currently the third space station in orbit, after the International Space Station (ISS) and the former Russian Mir space station. It is expected to have a lifespan of around 10 years and it’s capable of hosting three astronauts at a time for long-duration missions.
China’s space program has made significant progress in recent years, with a series of successful missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. The development of the Tiangong space station marks another major milestone in China’s space exploration efforts, highlighting the country’s growing capabilities in space technology and its ambitions to become a major space power.
In summary, China’s space ambition is huge and the country is stopping at nothing to achieve those ambitions. With the successful launch of its reusable spacecraft and other future planings, the country might be able to rival NASA and even the ESA in space research and payload delivery in the near future.