Physical Address

304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124

The launch of Long March 3B Rocket, Xichang Satellite Center, China (Credit: AAxanderr, For free use, public domain)

China’s experimental space plane that will rival the US X-37 is ready for launch

A MYSTERIOUS Chinese space plane will be launched into low Earth orbit next week, and observers say it could rival the Boeing’s autonomous X-37B that has already spent 780 days in space.

As Elon Musk’s Space X plans to launch its milestone human launch capsule, the Crew Dragon Capsule, on the 27th of May, on the other side of the globe China prepares to takes its first steps in militarising the cosmos with an experimental craft set to send a wave of panic through the US space force.

The secretive payload that will set atop China’s manned mission capable Long March 2 rocket will lift off from launch site 921 at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre, part of Dong Feng Aerospace City in the Gobi Desert.


The March 2020 mission is classified and known as the Shenlong scientific research experiment in Chinese media, but what we do know is that the craft will use a CZ2F launch vehicle and Google earth images have shown construction of a landing strip near the launch site for the reusable space plane to land on when it re-enters after its mission in low Earth orbit is completed.

The landing strip in the Gobi Desert (Credit: copyright Maxar Technologies 2020, Google Earth)

The landing strip for the space plane is estimated to be 2 Kilometres in length and 50 metres in width, it is located 20 kilometres north east of the Jiuquan launch site.

The landing strip in the Gobi Desert (Credit: Credit: copyright Maxar Technologies 2020, Google Earth)

Although China’s secretive payload may look like the US X-37B in its basic design, it has been suggested that it will have one major difference, the Chinese version will have a larger engine and have dorsal bay doors where it can deploy payloads into orbit.

Boeing’s X-37 B

Although the space plane is highly likely to be based upon the designs of Boeings already successful autonomous space plane the X-37 B China has released some eye opening information about their indeionous design.

Beijing based Xinhua news agency said: “The spacecraft can transport people or payload into the orbit and return to Earth.”

The state run news agency cited the comments of Chen Hongbo, who is a researcher at China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

Xinhua news agency wrote: “Chen said that the spacecraft will be easier to maintain and can improve the frequency of launches at lower cost, bringing new opportunities for more people to travel into space.”

Re-usable Earth to orbit launch vechile

This announcement has been echoed by Liu Shiquan, vice director of China’s Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation in the CCP’s People’s Daily.

Liu Shiquan said: “Currently, China is developing its own reusable earth-to-orbit space vehicles that can take off and land horizontally.

“We have already finished several crucial ground tests for engines and other key components, yielding remarkable achievements.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Verified by MonsterInsights