China studying reusable rockets similar to SpaceX

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China is studying recovering the first stage of future rockets.

A concept being developed would use parachutes to slow down first stages after separation, then deploy an airbag to cushion the stage’s landing on dry land.

Chinese researchers said they looked into making a powered landing of the first stage, as SpaceX does with the Falcon 9, but concluded it was “extremely difficult” and inefficient.

A final decision on whether to incorporate reusability in future rockets is expected by 2020. [South China Morning Post]


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