Today, China’s Long March 2F rocket made a launch from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center and some reports claim that the rocket carried some kind of a reusable spacecraft possibly a spaceplane that is comparable with the US’s classified X-37B spaceplane currently orbiting somewhere in the Earth’s orbit.
China’s says that it’s launch vehicle will remain in the orbit for a period of time and says “it will carry out reusable technology verification as planned to provide technical support for the peaceful use of space.”
The recently launched spacecraft is so secretive that even US Intelligence Agency have no officially images or renders of the spacecraft. Andrew Jones, a freelance reporter specialised in China’s space program revealed that China is expecting to launch a spaceplane sometime in 2020.
In 2017, China’s main space contractor said that it is “working on some type of reusable experimental spacecraft which would be capable of landing horizontally.” Jones reports that yesterday flight restrictions were released to airplane pilots that mentions them to stay clear of the area above the launch site prior to the launch of the Long March 2F rocket.
China’s state media, Xinhua, said that the launch was successful and referred the payload as a “reusable test spacecraft” but its unclear what operations the vehicle will be performing while in the orbit.
US Air Force is already tracking objects from the launch, and satellite trackers are trying to work out the exact time the rocket took off.
The researchers and analysts are now waiting to find when the reusable test spacecraft lands that will complete one of the planned mission of China’s space goals.