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China’s space test hits snag with capsule ‘anomaly’

A cargo capsule that was part of a key test in China’s space programme experienced an “anomaly” on Wednesday during its return trip, the space authority said.
The cargo capsule was launched Tuesday aboard a new type of carrier rocket along with a prototype spacecraft, and the latter is expected to return to Earth on Friday.
The launch is a major test of China’s ambitions to operate a permanent space station and send astronauts to the Moon.
But “an anomaly occurred today during the return” of the cargo capsule, the China Manned Space Agency said in a statement.
“Experts are currently analysing the data,” it said without offering details.
The cargo capsule was not designed to transport astronauts, only equipment. The device, developed by China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation, is an experimental prototype.
The capsule was fitted with an “inflatable” heat shield. (AFP)