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Thursday, December 9, 2021

China denies launching hypersonic missile, claiming it was testing spacecraft

China has denied reports that it had recently launched a hypersonic missile, saying that it was testing a spacecraft to trial reusable technologies.

It was reported by the Financial Times on Saturday that a nuclear-capable missile, launched in Beijing, was carried by a Long March rocket and circled the earth at low orbit before missing its target.


The Financial Times added that the test had been kept under the wraps by China.

Denying that it was a missile, China broke its silence on the launch, claiming that it was an exercise that was testing how reusable technology could reduce the cost of launching a spacecraft.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian had told reporters, “According to my understanding, this test is a routine spacecraft test, used to test a reusable spacecraft technology,”.


Claiming that the Finacial Times report was inaccurate, he added, “This could provide a convenient and cheap way for humans to use space for peaceful purposes.”

A hypersonic missile can travel five times the speed of sound and can deliver a nuclear warhead.

They differ from ballistic missiles as they travel low in the atmosphere instead of flying into space, in an attempt to reach the target in a shorter timespan.

This type of technology is currently being developed in China, the United States, Russia and at least five other countries.

According to a report from the US Congressional Research Service, China has been aggressively developing hypersonic missile technology.

IMAGE – Wikimedia Commons


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