by Leonard David, SPACE.com’s Space Insider Columnist
Date: 09 November 2012 Time: 07:44 AM ET
A close-up of China's robotic Shenlong space plane prototype
tucked beneath a Chinese H-6 bomber for glide testing in December 2007.
CREDIT: Chinese Internet
As the next secretive flight of the U.S. Air Force's robotic X-37B mini-shuttle draws closer, analysts are keeping a close eye on China’s own potential space plane, the Shenlong.
Last year several Chinese media outlets reported a test flight of the Shenlong space plane that apparently included its airdrop from an H-6 bomber. But the nature of the Shenlong project's testing, as well as what the robot vehicle truly represents, remains sketchy.
Several China watchers in the U.S. have taken a stab at what the Shenlong (Mandarin for "Divine Dragon) might mean, with some experts conjecturing that the craft is a tit-for-tat response to the unmanned X-37B space plane.
More - Link >>> http://www.space.com/18410-china-space-plane-project-mystery.html
Source: Space.com .
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