China claims its first reusable spacecraft has landed after 2-day orbit

Originally published at:


Sounds like they are working on something like the X-37B.


The craft landed as planned at Jiuquan, the official Xinhua News Agency said. State media have yet to publish any photos. The craft’s size and shape are unclear.

It’s probably some old Goa’uld tech Lord Yu left behind. Lord Trump has yet to share anything with us.

1 Like

Minor copy edit. The headline should probably say "after two days in orbit. Because “2-day orbit” implies a single orbit of two days. And that in turn would imply an orbit that is higher than a geosynchronous one, which requires MUCH more energy than low earth orbits. I don’t think that the Long March could put that much mass that high.

edited because it is impossible to point out somebody else’s error without making your own.


That’s amazing news. Maybe this is a step closer to space-based solar power.

I don’t believe it until an amateur astronomer complains it ruined their observation that they have been working on for months.


China’s space program has launched and landed an experimental and re-usable spacecraft and by doing so may have signalled it can match the capabilities of a secretive US strategic asset.

China scarcely acknowledged the launch and state media offered only scanty reports of the mission, saying the craft launched atop the Long March-2F rocket that China has now used successfully in 16 low-Earth-orbit missions. The craft was then returned to Earth on Sunday and a three-sentence story in State organ Xinhua that ended with: “The successful flight marked the country’s important breakthrough in reusable spacecraft research and is expected to offer convenient and low-cost round trip transport for the peaceful use of the space.”

1 Like

China watchers of my acquaintance have been referring to it as the “X-37C” (for Chinese) on the assumption that it is essentially a near-copy of the X-37B (in appearance if not in engineering detail), but that seems to be more a default assumption than any inside info.

The Chinese have been unusually secretive about this project, and we really don’t have any detailed information to go on. It could be a space plane, or a Dragon-style capsule, and it might or might not eventually carry crew (probably not, because it’s probably not large enough, but again…)

China’s space tech has long lagged behind the US and USSR/Russia, but they’re catching up quickly.


Obviously, they’re concerned that some other nation will steal their IP.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.