Friday Aug 05, 2022
SHANGHAI: China successfully launched a pilot reusable spacecraft with its Long March-2F carrier rocket on Friday, state media CCTV reported.
The unidentified spacecraft, which was launched from China's Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, will return to a planned landing site after operating in the orbit for some time to provide technical validations for reuses, CCTV said.
China said it made a big step towards developing reusable space transportation technology as it launched a spacecraft which returned to Earth on the same day after flying to the edge of the atmosphere in July.
On Saturday, a Chinese rocket fell back to Earth over the Indian Ocean but NASA said Beijing had not shared the "specific trajectory information" needed to know where possible debris might fall.
Aerospace Corp, a government-funded nonprofit research centre near Los Angeles, said it was reckless to allow the rocket's entire main-core stage — which weighs 22.5 tons (about 48,500 lb) — to return to Earth in uncontrolled reentry.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately comment. China said earlier this week it would closely track the debris but said it posed little risk to anyone on the ground.