China plans to catch its reusable rockets using cables

China wants to make its rockets reusable for space missions and plans to catch them with tethers.


The reusable rockets are being developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the country’s main government space contractor, which now produces the Long March rockets.


The space and defense giant plans to debut its first two reusable rockets in 2025 and 2026. They seem to be related to plans for lunar exploration and manned space flights.


Recently, the state-run China Central Television (CCTV) showed the Long March 10 crew rocket with its characteristic launch evacuation system. After separation, the core stage decelerates upon re-entry using grid stabilizers.


In the finale, the rocket stage is sent to a sea landing platform, where it is caught by retractable cables.


CASC is not the only organization in China working on reusable rockets. Commercial firms including Landspace, CAS Space (backed by the state-run Chinese Academy of Sciences), Galactic Energy, iSpace and Deep Blue Aerospace are developing their own reusable rockets.

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