China launches a drone into near space – at an altitude of 25km. Photo: Yang Yanchu, Academy of Optoelectronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

China tests new spy drones in near space ‘death zone’

High-altitude unmanned vehicles tasked with military intelligence gathering can fit inside a shoebox and cost just a few hundred yuan

Topic |   China science

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China launches a drone into near space – at an altitude of 25km. Photo: Yang Yanchu, Academy of Optoelectronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences
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Stephen Chen

Stephen Chen

Stephen Chen investigates major research projects in China, a new power house of scientific and technological innovation. He has worked for the Post since 2006. He is an alumnus of Shantou University, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and the Semester at Sea programme which he attended with a full scholarship from the Seawise Foundation.