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Space Updates From Three Countries ( 62

The Indian Space Research Organisation continues developing a reusable launch vehicle, which could cut the costs of satellite launches by 90%. William Robinson quotes the Business Times: India will use a mini-rocket with a booster to fly a winged reusable launch vehicle into lower earth orbit on May 23... If everything goes well, it will reach about 70 kilometers from earth, and will plunge into the Bay of demonstrate hypersonic and aero-thermodynamics of the winged re-entry vehicle with autonomous mission management
Meanwhile, Thelasko shares this reminder from BlastingNews that the U.S. Air Force's mysterious X-37B celebrated the one-year anniversary of its launch: Today, the maneuverable craft operates in a 220-mile orbit, a higher altitude it briefly held last fall and roughly the same perch occupied twice by the previous X-37B mission, according to satellite-tracking hobbyist Ted Molczan. This X-37B carries at least two payloads, revealed by the military before the ship took off â" an experimental electric propulsion thruster to be tested in orbit and a pallet to expose sample materials to the space environment.
And MarkWhittington writes that "The latest Chinese space station, the Tiangong 2, is slated to be launched later in 2016 and will be visited by Chinese astronauts in a Shenzhou spacecraft. But, according to Spaceflight Insider, the Chinese are already looking ahead to their permanent low Earth orbit space facility, the Tiangong 3, slated to begin construction in 2018."
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Space Updates From Three Countries

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  • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Monday May 23, 2016 @03:33AM (#52163013) Journal

    Actually this is good for humanity

    No matter which entity wins, we all win

  • by edittard ( 805475 ) on Monday May 23, 2016 @04:56AM (#52163217)

    Three articles in one. Another brilliant idea.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Illuminati = 666.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    A "Chinese astronaut" is actually called a taikonaut.

  • India will use a mini-rocket with a booster to fly a winged reusable launch vehicle into lower earth orbit on May 23... If everything goes well, ...

    Lookslike everything has gone well []

    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      Congrats to them!

      Am I the only one here who thinks what they're doing is great? It might even lead to a small space race with Pakistan - if they succeed, Pakistan isn't going to be happy with India having cheap access to space but not them. And the space race turned out to be a great pressure release valve between the US and USSR.

      That said, a second-stage reusable isn't enough - they'll also need a reusable first stage that's cheap to refurbish for relaunch. But that, too, is potentially achievable.

    • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

      It's a great step, and I don't like being pedantic... but they did not launch into orbit as stated in the article. This is clearly a suborbital launch, to an altitude of 70 km with the flight lasting about 10 minutes.

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson