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China says 'hypersonic missile' was routine spacecraft experiment

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Beijing | October 18, 2021 7:16:39 PM IST
China on Tuesday described reports of the first-ever test of a "nuclear-capable hypersonic missile" as a routine experiment to test the technology of spacecraft reusability.

Responding to a question during a presser, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that Bejing conducted "a routine spacecraft experiment to test the technology of spacecraft reusability."

While commenting on a Financial Times report, Zhao said China launched such a missile that circled the globe before speeding toward its target, Global Times reported. The report said the test demonstrated "an advanced space capability that caught US intelligence by surprise."

"As we understand, this was a routine test of space vehicle to verify technology of spacecraft's reusability. It is of great significance to reducing the cost of using space vehicle and providing a convenient and cheap way for mankind's two-way transportation in the peaceful use of space. Several companies around the world have conducted similar tests," the Chinese spokesperson said.

"After separating from the space vehicle before its return, the supporting devices will burn up when it's falling in the atmosphere and the debris will fall into the high seas," he added.

Last week, media reports had said that China carried out its first-ever test of a "nuclear-capable hypersonic missile" taking by surprise US intelligence. Multiple reports stated that China carried out a test on a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in August.

According to the reports, the missile flew through low-orbit space before cruising toward its target. It missed the target but the test is said to show "astounding progress" by China on hypersonic missile technology that "caught US intelligence by surprise", reported NHK World.

The US and Russia have also been working on hypersonic missiles. Such weapons fly at five times the speed of sound and can manoeuvre during flight, making them harder to track.

Experts say full development of such technology by China would impact the missile defence systems of the US and Japan, reported NHK World. (ANI)

 
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