China's jumbo rocket launch fails

Michele Moreno
July 3, 2017

Sunday evening's launch of China's Long March-5 Y2 rocket failed, despite what appeared to be a successful liftoff.

"Further investigation will be carried out", the report added, without elaborating.

The Long March 5, China's most capable rocket, can life 25 metric tons to low Earth orbit or 14 metric tons to geostationary orbit.

With a weight of 7.5 tonnes, the Shijian-18 satellite represents China's latest technology and is the heaviest satellite China has ever launched into space.

"Abnormity was detected during the flight of the rocket", the Xinhua news agency reported.

"I'm sure the Chinese are very disappointed with this failure, as the delays [to its space station and other plans] have become harder and harder to explain without China being seen as slipping in the advances its been able to make". The third flight was due for November, but Sunday's failure calls this schedule into question.

Long March 5 rocket launch fails – Chinese state media (VIDEO)

The Long March 5 is a key part of China's human spaceflight and planetary exploration plans.

The Long March-5 Y2 rocket takes off from Wenchang Satellite Launch Center in Wenchang, Hainan Province, China July 2, 2017.

The rocket boosts the country's lift capabilities by 2.5 times, using new, cleaner fuels than older Long March series rockets. Chinese space scientists are now investigating the failed launch to identify the root cause of the problem.

After arriving at the launch base in early May, the rocket was assembled and tested there.

While the Long March 6 is intended for launching small satellites, the Long March 7 will carry out Chinese space station support launches including crewed and resupply missions.

Other reports by Insurance News

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