There is a reusable space shuttle

China tested space shuttle-like spaceship in space

Beijing - In the end, reusable spaceships did not pay off for the USA: Although NASA had initially hoped that their space shuttle would make manned space travel significantly cheaper, the high repair costs of the space shuttles led to the opposite. Nevertheless, the US space agency held on to the system for 30 years, between 1981 and 2011.

The principle lives on in some experimental approaches, including the Chinese space program: On Friday, a "Long March 2F" rocket, an unmanned, reusable spacecraft for test purposes, lifted from the Jiuquan space center near the Gobi desert in the Gansu province brought into space, as the official news agency Xinhua reported.

On Sunday, the spacecraft returned to earth after a two-day stay in space and landed on the designated runway, reported the state broadcaster CGTN on Twitter. Images of the take-off, landing or the spacecraft itself have not been published.

In development for years

With the spaceship "key technologies" should be tested on the flight, it was said. Details were not given. China's space program has been working on a reusable spacecraft with wings and a heat shield for re-entry into the earth's atmosphere for years.

As foreign experts reported, both astronauts and cargo should be brought into space. It has been speculated that further information may not be released until after a successful flight. (red, APA, September 6, 2020)