China‘s re-usable space plane could fly into orbit from a traditional runway by 2020.
China’s reusable launch vehicle will carry heavy payloads into orbit, is designed to be used over 20 times.
It will launch from a runway like a traditional aircraft, combines the first and second stages together into a single one, that will be recoverable.
Chen Hongbo, director of the research and development center at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology at CASC, explains:
“The cost to launch China’s reusable launch vehicle will be cut to one-fifth of the current price at the initial stage, and even cut to one-tenth in the future.
The reusable launch vehicle will mainly provide service for a 300 to 500 kilometer-high orbit. It can meet the demands of fast, reliable and low-cost space transportation in the future.
For example, it can deliver astronauts and goods to a space station, provide a launch service for military and civilian purposes and even serve space tourism.”
Images credit Spaceflightchina.com
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