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"China is Launching Their Highly Classified Reusable" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP06 Nov 2017 9:35 p.m. PST

…Spaceplane in 2020.

"Officials from the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASTC) released a statement on Tuesday saying they'll be ready to launch the next-generation spaceplane by 2020, according to a report by state news service Xinhua. If the statement is any indication, China seems to be have made significant headway on the development of a highly-secretive advance spacecraft.

At first glance, it may not seem to be a remarkable feat: reusable space rockets have been making headlines consistently since SpaceX successfully launched a used Falcon 9 earlier this year. The company has been flying missions aboard reusable Falcon 9 rockets to the International Space Station, as well as to ferry satellites from private corporations and even several nations…"
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KniazSuvorov07 Nov 2017 5:59 p.m. PST

Cool, if it works.

Hopefully even the possibility of the Chinese making one will spur the competition to create a working space plane. Low-cost spaceflight would be amazing!

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 10:27 p.m. PST



Lion in the Stars07 Nov 2017 10:49 p.m. PST

I'm not sure that a highly reusable spaceplane will reduce the cost of orbital access.

I mean, there's currently only about 50 space launches a year across the globe.

You'd need to drop the cost of space access by orders of magnitude to make additional launches economically feasible, and reusing an orbiter requires a LOT of inspection and maintenance.

I think the only way to get into space cheaply is an orbital elevator, and an orbital elevator requires creating multi-thousand-km-long carbon nanotubes.

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