Failed rocket delays China’s space missions

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/27 22:03:39

Photo taken on June 26, 2017 shows Long March-5 Y2 carrier rocket at Wenchang Space Launch Center in south China's Hainan Province. Carrying Shijian-18 communication satellite, the rocket was vertically transferred to the launch area at Wenchang Space Launch Center on Monday. China has set the window to launch the rocket between July 2 and 5, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense. (Xinhua/Zhang Wenjun)

The unsuccessful launch of China's latest heavy-lift carrier rocket has led to the delay in several major spacecraft missions, whose cause is expected to be released at the end of the year, according to a senior space administration official.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the unsuccessful launch of the Long March-5 Y2, Tian Yulong, secretary-general of the China National Space Administration, said at the 68th International Astronautical Congress in Australia, the Science and Technology Daily reported on Wednesday.

An anomaly occurred in the rocket, which was launched from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in South China's Hainan Province on July 2, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

The launch of the lunar probe Chang'e-5, which was scheduled to be sent in the second half of 2017 to retrieve lunar samples, and Chang'e-4, which was due to be launched in 2018 to land on the far side of the moon, will be rescheduled at the end of the year, Tian said.

The construction of China's space station will also be affected, as the launch of the core module has been moved to 2019, Tian said.

The core module, Tianhe-1 was scheduled to be launched in 2018, and its assembly was completed last year, Xinhua reported. 

The Long March-5 made its maiden flight in November 2016 from Wenchang, sending its payload into a preset orbit.


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