China is reportedly working on a new spacecraft that will be able to land on the moon and to fly in low-Earth orbit, state-run media reports. Beijing’s comparatively young space program is developing the new craft, which is being built to be able to carry multiple astronauts and would be recoverable. Spaceship engineer Zhang Bainian reportedly compared the project to the Orion spacecraft in the works at NASA and the European Space Agency. Orion is expected to carry astronauts by 2023. China’s program has advanced rapidly since it first sent a man into space in 2003.
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