China has sent a mysterious "multiple test ship" into space

China has sent a mysterious "multiple test ship" into space

The Xinhua news agency reported the successful launch of the Changzhen 2F rocket as a payload and launched the rocket from the Zücuan launch site in the Gobi desert on the morning of 5 August.

According to journalists, the test spacecraft will remain in orbit for a certain period of time before returning to the planned landing site in China, and re-use and in-orbit maintenance technologies will be tested during the space mission.

China ' s State Information Agency does not report the ship ' s designation, but only indicates that the mission is needed to support the peaceful uses of space, although little is known about the spaceship, based on previous statements and actions, SpaceNews analysts have suggested that it is a space plane.

China had previously announced the launch of a re-launched test spaceship in September 2020, which was also surrounded by secrecy; perhaps it was a test of the same project.

Changjeng 2F usually sends manned missions to the Chinese space station. The launcher has a cargo capacity of just over eight metric tons when objects are placed in low-Earth orbit. Based on these data, analysts believe that the "research module" can be similar to the size and function of the Boeing X-37B spacecraft.

Previously, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation had announced plans to develop affordable and reliable access to space, including multiple launch vehicles and a space aircraft.

Image on the cover: Changzhen 2F missile at the launch site. Photo: China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation