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China reportedly fired hypersonic missile through low Earth orbit

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The United States accuses China of launching an experimental hypersonic missile, which circled low Earth orbit before reaching its target, unnamed sources told the Financial Times website. According to the publication, US intelligence agencies are surprised by Asian power’s progress in ultra-high-range weapons.

“We have no idea how they [a China] they did that, ”commented one of the FT informants. The Chinese missile is said to have circled the planet in low earth orbit until it hit the original target, which missed by about 40 kilometers. “The test showed that China has made incredible progress in hypersonic weapons and is much more advanced than expected by US officials,” said two of the sources consulted by the report.

A hypersonic missile exceeds five times the speed of sound and can bypass ground defenses (Image: Forest Katsch / Pexels)

A professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) specializing in Chinese nuclear weapons, Taylor Fravel has said that a nuclear weapon that follows the molds of a hypersonic glider could bypass the US defense system. “Hypersonic gliders fly on lower trajectories and can maneuver during flight, which makes tracking and destruction difficult,” he explained.

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It was not a missile, says China

In response to the Financial Times website report, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said it was not a missile, but a space vehicle intended to transport people who were undergoing a “routine test”. In addition, the test is said to have taken place in July, not August, as the US intelligence report mentioned by the sources points out.

Having vehicles ready for reuse as soon as they hit the ground is important for China, as it offers a cheaper and more convenient method of traveling through space, the ministry official said.

The United States and Russia are also developing hypersonic missiles

The report points out that the United States and Russia are also focusing on the development of hypersonic vehicles, which reinforces this trend in the military sector – hypersonic rockets fly at five times the speed of sound (1238 km / h at sea level). Obviously, the existence of a missile in this sense does not imply that the model will be launched in a possible attack, but the tests have fueled tensions between the major world powers.

Source: Futurism, Financial Times, O Globo

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