The Shenlong or “Divine Dragon,” China’s top-secret reusable space plane, took off for the third time on Thursday, December 14, according to Geo magazine.

This mission took place seven months after the return to Earth of the second flight which had lasted 276 days. This previous flight  took place three years after the first test, carried out over two days in 2020. This unmanned spacecraft was launched into low Earth orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Inner Mongolia, according to Interesting Engineering .

According to this media, although the official report indicates that the vehicle was deployed in space to conduct scientific experiments and test reusable technologies, all this would be “for peaceful purposes”. While the report does not explicitly state the purpose of this new test, the craft was observed by amateur trackers releasing six unidentified objects into space just four days after arriving in orbit.

According to Interestesting Engineering, these objects named A, B, C, D, E and F emit powerful signals to the ground above North America. At this stage, the nature of these objects remains unknown. Suggestions have been put forward by our colleagues at Geo, believing that these could be service modules, test articles used to practice payload placement, or even small satellites intended to monitor the space plane.

Officially, little is known about the nature and purpose of these objects. There are also very few confirmed details about this “Divine Dragon.” No information has been shared on how long this mission will last. The mystery therefore remains complete.