A commercial satellite photo may reveal a new Chinese space plane just moments after it landed at a remote site on the western side of China.
The photo, which is too low resolution to be conclusive, was snapped by the San Francisco-based company Planet. It shows what could be the classified Chinese spacecraft on a long runway, along with several support vehicles lined up nearby.
I’m reading a lot into a few little dots,” admits Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who diligently tracks spacecraft and satellites. But, he says, the photo, combined with other circumstantial evidence, such as the new spaceship’s orbital path, strongly suggests that China has launched and landed a small, uncrewed, space-shuttle-like vehicle. “The information sort of all hangs together now that this was a test of something, probably a space plane, that made a winged reentry and landed on the runway,” he says.
Story continued here: NPR