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China’s spaceplane releases 6 MYSTERY OBJECTS into orbit
By Kevin Hughes // Dec 26, 2023

China's shady small spaceplane appears to have deployed at least six objects into orbit while performing its latest mission.

The unmanned Shenlong (Divine Dragon) spaceplane placed six objects in Earth's orbit after launching from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China's Gansu province on Dec. 14. Amateur space trackers have verified the existence of the said objects, among them Scott Tilley.

During an interview with Space magazine's Brett Tingley, he said that some of the objects – which are being referred to as Objects A, B, C, D, E and F – appear to be transmitting signals. The amateur astronomer has described these objects as "mysterious wingmen," a nod to the "loyal wingman" terminology employed for the drones that operate cooperatively with a piloted aircraft.

Tilley also presented details of the variations in transmissions between the objects. According to him, Object A appears to be sending small amounts of data. Meanwhile, Objects D and E appear to be only emitting "placeholder" signals without supporting data.

"It should be noted that unlike emissions early in the Chinese spaceplane missions, these emissions are very intermittent and do not stay on long," Tilley said. "It's taken days of observations tracking pass after pass with dish antennas to come up with this data."

While people cannot be completely sure that these cryptic signals are coming from objects released by the Shenlong, the evidence is convincing. Comprehensive signal analysis by different satellite trackers suggests that the transmissions come either from the objects or from something else very near to them.

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The transmissions also connect with the anticipated paths of the various objects and also comply with the types of signals earlier emitted by Chinese spaceplane missions, with the identical unique frequency. There are also signs that there could be more interesting transmissions to come.

Shenlong spaceplane launched atop a traditional space rocket

The reusable Shenlong spacecraft is launched above a traditional space launch rocket, and is powered into orbit using a secondary booster. It makes its return to Earth in an unpowered mode.

According to the Drive, the Shenlong is believed to be widely similar to the U.S. Space Force's (USSF) X-37B spacecraft. While the precise nature of the Chinese craft's payloads remains a mystery, it certainly has military applications. But Beijing has insisted that the Shenlong is only for commercial use.

It is no secret that the Chinese spaceplane can deploy payloads into space. During Shenlong's second mission in late 2022, SpaceNews surmised that those objects could be small satellites for monitoring the spaceplane or some type of test payload, possibly to acquire more experience in launching items from the spaceplane. (Related: China has put hundreds of satellites in orbit to target U.S., as Space Force commander reveals Beijing’s horrific plan for America.)

Spaceplanes such as the Shenlong and the X-37B have very clear military applications, especially as a convenient and probably efficient way to get into orbit and remain there for lengthy periods. A spaceplane provides many advantages when it comes to placing payloads into space. For instance, it is faster, more flexible, and less predictable than a conventional rocket launch.

Over at Washington, the X-37B is now being equipped with a service module, an extra payload package that boosts the number of missions that the vehicle can tackle. Nevertheless, details about the contents of the service module remain classified and little is known about its precise operations or capabilities.

The USSF is presently set to launch the X-37B aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket on Dec. 28 following numerous delays.

Follow Space.news for more stories about China's secretive spaceplane.

Watch Gene Ho explain what the USSF is and whether it will save America in the video below.

This video is from the AMPNews channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

China may try to claim the moon as prize if it beats US in space race.

Daniel Natal: Whoever controls space will be the 21st century’s dominant power.

Space Force to launch network of SPY SATELLITES to counter growing Chinese and Russian space capabilities.

Sources include:


Space.com 1


Space.com 2


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