China's 'heaviest rocket' Long March-5 Y2 fails post lift-off
Jul 03, 2017, 00:58
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.
The rocket carrying the Shijian-18 communications satellite, blasted off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in the southern China's Hainan province at 7:23 p.m. local time, leaving a vast column of flame.
Experts from the China National Space Administration are investigating the cause, Xinhua reported.
The Long March-5 rocket has been created to carry a payload of around 25 tons into low Earth orbit and 14 tons in geostationary orbit.
Several launches of the Long March-5 were scheduled in preparation for China's lunar probe, manned space station and Mars probe missions, according to Xinhua.
China's largest ever rocket has a maximum payload capacity of 55,116 pounds to a low-Earth orbit. A Long March 3B rocket launched the Chinasat-9A satellite into geostationary transfer orbit June 19.
China will launch its second powerful heavy- lift rocket into space on Sunday, July 2. One of the key features of this heavy weight rocket is that it uses environmentally friendly fuel, including kerosene, liquid hydrogen, and liquid oxygen, rather than highly toxic propellants.
It is created to launch space station components, deep-space probes as well as communications satellites. The rocket was supposed to carry the experimental communication satellite Shijian-18.
Part of China's multi-billion dollar space programme, this rocket was created to carry space station components, communication satellites and deep-space probes into orbit.
Beijing sees its multi-billion-dollar space programme as a symbol of its rise and of the Communist Party's success in turning around the fortunes of the once poverty-stricken nation.
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.
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