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IPFS News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

SPACE JAM China's super secretive spaceplane ejects a mysterious object into orbit...

•, Millie Turner

AFTER 166 days circling Earth, China's secret spaceplane has ejected an unknown object into orbit, according to reports.

Little is known about the experimental spacecraft, other than the fact it is reusable. Even less is known about the technology that's just been thrown into Earth's rotation.

Space Force, a faction of the US military, have catalogued the object as 59884.

Jonathan McDowell, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and a space activity tracker was one of the first to spot the ejection on 24 May.

In a statement on X (Twitter) days later, McDowell speculated that the object could be a subsatellite.

It could be a piece of hardware that was cast away at the end of an undisclosed mission.

Or, it may be an object spat out to test capture maneuvers with the spacecraft, like it did on its second in-orbit test flight.

In a launch report issued hours after the event, Chinese authorities stated: "During this period, reusable technology verification and space science experiments will be carried out as planned to provide technical support for the peaceful use of space."

Russia, a close ally to China, launched a counter-space weapon into the "same orbit" as a US spy satellite just days ago.

Earlier this month, former British Defence and Foreign Minister Tobias Ellwood told The Sun that China's plans to advance its satellite-based radio navigation system spelled trouble for the UK and other Western nations.

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