China to develop reusable space vehicles
People's Daily Online
(People's Daily Online) 17:22, June 07, 2017
China is in the process of developing reusable earth-to-orbit space vehicles that can boost the country to the forefront of the aerospace industry, as well as promote the commercial use of space technologies, said an aerospace official on June 6.
"Currently, China is developing its own reusable earth-to-orbit space vehicles that can take off and land horizontally. We have already finished several crucial ground tests for engines and [other key components], yielding remarkable achievements," Liu Shiquan, vice director of the China Aerospace Science & Industry Corporation (CASIC), told media at the Global Space Exploration Conference in Beijing.
According to media reports, the reusable space vehicles will allow astronauts to orbit, land and take off multiple times with minimal repairs and for a relatively low cost, offering easier access to Earth's orbit.
"[We] have made new progress in developing stable solid launch vehicles, making it possible to contemplate the large-scale launch of commercial space vehicles. Meanwhile, research on the recovery of space cargo is also going smoothly," said Liu.
According to Liu, CASIC has been developing a multi-layer information network, with a platform consisting of high-altitude solar drones, near-space aerostats and low-earth orbit satellites and ground equipment, which are expected to be available for use around 2020.
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