Chinese space plane left unidentified object in orbit: all about it

This spacecraft has been in orbit for more than 165 days. (Symbolic image)

The US Space Force has spotted another object left by China’s secret spacecraft that is now in Earth orbit. It is not yet known what it is, but it has been named 59884 (2023-195G), adding to the existing curiosity about the reusable spacecraft mission, according to SpaceNews.

The spaceplane has been in orbit for more than 165 days since its launch in December 2023. According to the media outlet, on previous occasions, this was not something strange as other objects were deployed and strange signals were given from them.

However, experts can only speculate about the reasons behind such a move. According to astronomer Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, this particular action comes after a similar one during its second flight in 2022, who explains that on this occasion, the spacecraft slammed down an object for proximity and recapture tests over time. So, is this another test repeat, or are new things coming up?

“A new object (59884/2023-195G) has been catalogued as associated with the Chinese CSSHQ spacecraft in a 602 x 608 km x 50.0 degree orbit. It appears to have been ejected on May 24 at around 1900 UTC,” McDowell posted on X.

“This object could be a sub-satellite deployment, or it could be a piece of hardware that was ejected before the end of the mission and dropped out of orbit (something similar happened on the first flight of the spacecraft). It will be interesting to see if the object moves on or lands soon,” he posted shortly after.

The answer still lies with China, which has maintained secrecy about its operations related to spacecraft. Furthermore, through this event, China’s space program has shown how far they have come, while we are left with only questions about what they really want.