China's first cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-1 blasts off from Wenchang Space Launch Center in South China's Hainan province, April 20, 2017. （Photo/Xinhua）
A new type of space cargo transport aircraft is under development and will complete its maiden flight in 2019, a space engineering company based in central China's Wuhan said Thursday.
The aircraft is being developed using technology such as space inflatable deployment, flexible heat shielding and composite materials, enabling it to have a high bearing ratio at a low cost, said Lyu Dongming, board chairman of the Space Engineering Development Co. Ltd. under China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. Ltd.
New types of composite material cabins, and new types of environmental control and life support technology will be applied to achieve products that offer support for missions such as return transport of space cargo, and delivery and recovery of goods.
In the mid and long term, the aircraft will be actively involved in manned lunar exploration, Lyu said.
The Space Engineering Development Co. Ltd., which was established on Thursday, has a complete research and development capacity for the design of satellites, with its main focus on mini satellites and other commercial space programs.