An artist impression of what China’s new spacecraft, which will be able to take off and land on an airstrip in the same way as aeroplanes, may look like. Photo: Handout
South China Morning Post: Can China’s spaceplane give it the edge against US in space race?
Key feature will be its horizontal take-off, instead of vertical like traditional spacecraft – and it will be able to land at an airport.
China has made “significant progress” in building a spacecraft that can take off and land using an airstrip the way planes do, a development that one expert says could narrow the space technology gap with the United States.
The spaceplane is being developed by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (Casic) as part of Beijing’s space programme. The aim is for it to carry both astronauts and cargo to and from space missions, Liu Shiquan, vice-president of Casic, a key defence contractor, said.
Liu revealed the plan at the Global Space Exploration Conference in Beijing on Monday.
A key feature of the spaceplane would be horizontal take-off, instead of vertical like traditional spacecraft, Liu told the official Science and Technology Daily.
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WNU Editor: According to the article .... a test of this "space plane" will be happening soon.