More big space rumors from China

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Two stories today tout two different future big space projects coming out of China.

The first story describes a proposed Chinese X-37B concept, that unlike the X-37B would be launched from a airplane-like mother ship, like Orbital ATK’s Pegasus rocket. This would make the entire vehicle reusable. I would not book passage, however. This is concept stuff, and possibly being touted by the designers to lobby for funding.

The second story is more real, outlining the design work being done right now for a second generation Chinese manned capsule to replace its Shenzhou spacecraft. It appears they want something with greater capacity and more reusability, and also with the robustness to return from lunar missions.


One comment

  • m d mill

    I congratulate the Chinese visionaries. This is really the ultimate design for efficient passenger/small payload launch. Piggy-backing into high atmosphere essentially removes the need for the entire first stage, which is the most expensive and inefficient and dangerous stage. Use conventional aerodynamics for “first stage” lift.
    Then use a reusable rocket powered flying body for the big push already starting at high altitude and high speed and thin atmosphere…a win win design which may make orbital passenger service truly economical.

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