Chinese university successfully launches AND lands a HYPERSONIC rocket capable of travelling faster than five times the speed of sound

Thursday, April 25, 2019
By Paul Martin

The rocket reached an altitude of 16 miles before returning to earth, team said
It was able to land with the help of four wings and a parachute, said an insider
Launch was part of a project to help Beijing build a hypersonic passenger plane
Footage shows the aircraft being transported to Gobi Desert before blasting off
China tested a hypersonic weapon capable of carrying nuclear missiles last year

25 April 2019

A Chinese university claimed to have launched and landed a hypersonic prototype rocket that could travel faster than five times the speed of sound.

The success of the experiment means that Chinese engineers are one step closer to building a full-fledged rocket that is capable of flying faster than 6,174kmh (3,836mph) and be recycled.

Although the project is reportedly funded by the military, the university says its aim is to help researchers build a hypersonic passenger plane that could reach anywhere in the world within two hours.

It can also lay the foundation for China to take the lead in space tourism, according to the team.

The rocket, named Jia Geng No. 1, reached a maximum altitude of 26.2 kilometres (16.3 miles) – about one-third of the way to space – before returning to the ground during the landmark launch on Tuesday over Gobi Desert, said the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics of Xiamen University.

Jia Geng No. 1 measures 8.7 metres (28.5 feet) in length, 2.5 metres (8.2 feet) in width and 3,700 kilograms (8,157 pounds) in weight.

It took the university just seven months to create the rocket after using the design of another prototype, called Tian Xing No. 1, provided by a private aviation firm in Beijing.

Jia Geng No. 1 is said to have an innovative air-breathing jet engine, or a ramjet, which could propel it to a greater velocity.

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