Chinese firm launches drones for space tourism

A Chinese company is launching its own drones to provide a glimpse of space.

Liuokung Technology, a startup, is launching a fleet of drones for a private space travel agency to test its new software for high-end commercial services.

The unmanned drones, powered by the company’s drone engine, can take off and land vertically, using their onboard computers to track the Earth’s gravity, track its trajectory and make a quick pass through a window to take pictures.

They can also operate autonomously, taking off and landing from a dock or launching from a ship.

Lui Kuok-hui, chief executive officer of the firm, said the drones can travel at up to 200 kilometres per hour, which is faster than the fastest aircraft.

He said the company had secured a contract to fly its drones from Shenzhen to Beijing in March.

The company is seeking an international licence to use its drones for commercial purposes.

China has been keen to get into space, which it hopes will become the third largest economy after the United States and Russia.

In May, China launched a space capsule with 10,000 people aboard, which flew for two days, completing the first manned flight.

China also aims to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for its next lunar mission in 2022.

China’s government has announced plans to build a new space station, complete with a telescope and a laboratory for astronauts.