China has plans for aerospace plane

Beijing – China announced that it has taken an important step forward in its plans to develop a two-part aerospace plane that could one day deliver much heavier payloads into space than the space shuttle.

The wind tunnel experiment successfully stimulated the aerodynamics of a launch in which the two elements separated at high speed and were able to continue on their own trajectories, according to the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics.

According to the plan, the larger space plane will be launched from an airport like a conventional aircraft – a method that is thought to be much safer than a rocket launch – before the smaller vessel it carries on its back separates to launch the payload into space.

Both parts of the vessel will be able to return to earth to be reused.

“The experiment … provides an advanced technological method for the future development of aerospace plane,” according to a social media post from the academy, which is a subsidiary of the state-owned contractor China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. (SCMP)