China carries out secretive launch of reusable experimental spacecraft with high level security

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China carries out secretive launch of reusable experimental spacecraft with high level security.

China has successfully launched a reusable experimental spacecraft on Friday as the country’s latest space mission appears to be shrouded in secrecy.

A Long March-2F carrier delivered the spacecraft into orbit from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwestern Chinese region Inner Mongolia, reported state media Xinhua, without specifying the time of the launch.

No images of the spacecraft or its lift-off have yet to be released. Staff and visitors at the launch site were prevented from filming or discussing the project online, according to reports.

A Long March-5 rocket carrying an orbiter, lander and rover as part of the Tianwen-1 mission to Mars, blasts off from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre on July 23 in Hainan, China

The reusable experimental spacecraft is currently in orbit and testing ‘reusable technologies during its flight, providing technological support for the peaceful use of space’, said Xinhua.

It is scheduled to return to a Chinese landing site at an unspecified date.

China’s latest space mission appears to have been carried out with low-key preparations and high-level security.

On July 23, China launched its Tianwen-1 spacecraft (pictured) to Mars, which is due to arrive on the Red Planet next February after a seven-month, 34-million-mile voyage

A copy of an official document circulated online warned people not to film on the launch site or discuss the project online, according to South China Morning Post.

The official memo read: ‘All units should strengthen personnel security education and personnel management during missions to ensure that there is no leakage of secrets.’

A Chinese military source suggested that the Chinese spacecraft was similar to the X-37B, a reusable robotic spacecraft launched by the US Air Force. The file picture taken in April, 2010 shows X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle in the encapsulation cell at the Astrotech facility in Titusville

A Chinese military source confirmed the authenticity of the notice to the Hong Kong newspaper and said: ‘There are many firsts in this launch. The spacecraft is new, the launch method is also different. That’s why we need to make sure there is extra security.’

They also suggested that the Chinese spacecraft was similar to the X-37B, a reusable robotic spacecraft launched by the US Air Force.

Watch the video below…

Also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle, the unmanned spacecraft takes off vertically and returns to the Earth horizontally on a runway landing.

The Boeing-made space plane has flown four secret, long-duration missions in Earth orbit to date.

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