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Xinhua: Reusable Experimental Spacecraft Has Returned Successfully to Earth

By VOA News September 06, 2020

An experimental, reusable Chinese spacecraft returned to its designated landing site Sunday after two days in orbit, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.

The agency described the flight as successful, adding that it "marked the country's important breakthrough in reusable spacecraft research" that could offer low-cost round trips to space for peaceful purposes.

Chinese state media have not yet published images or video footage of the launch or landing of the spacecraft. They have not provided details on the technologies tested, either.

Chinese social media and some commentators have compared the craft to the U.S. Air Force X-37B, an autonomous, Boeing spaceplane that can stay in orbit for long periods of time before returning to Earth on its own.

The Chinese spacecraft was launched into orbit Friday from the northwestern Jiuquan Satellite Center with a Long March 2F, the type of rocket that has been used to put crewed and uncrewed Shenzhou spacecraft into orbit.  

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