Chinese rocket launch fails one hour after lift-off
Chinese rocket launch fails one hour after lift-off
China Launches Long March-5 Heavy-Lift Carrier Rocket with Shijan-18 Satellite
03 July, 2017, 01:42
China's ambitious space programme appeared to suffer a setback on Sunday when a Long March-5 rocket with a communications satellite on board failed to successfully launch.
China is carrying out massive space programme in recent years with missions to moon and manned missions to build a space station which is now under construction.
The 7 metric tonne satellite was to be sent to geostationary orbit, some 36,000 kilometres above Earth. The rocket has reportedly deviated from its flight path according to live tracking data displayed.
However, 40 minutes after the launch, the Xinhua News Agency said the operation was "unsuccessful" and "abnormity was detected during the flight".
The rocket was launched at 7.23 pm (local time) and it was then that the abnormality arose which led to the failure of the mission. The rocket is quite advanced since it utilizes environmentally friendly fuels such as kerosene, liquid hydrogen, and liquid oxygen.
The Long March 5 is the heaviest of the three new generation rockets being developed by China using the core stage and different combinations of strap-on boosters and an third upper stage.
The launch window opens on November 29, but the issues causing today's failure will need to be identified and resolved.
China is currently studying a mission concept for human landings on the Moon which involves both a super-heavy-lift Long March 9 rocket, now under study, and a Long March 5B carrying the crewed spacecraft. It should deliver the Shijian-18 communication satellite to the orbit, which might operate there up to 15 years in case of a successful launch.
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