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July 2, 2017
Image above: China’s second Long March 5 rocket lifted off at 11:23 GMT (7:23 a.m. EDT; 7:23 p.m. Beijing time) Sunday. Image Credit: Xinhua.
China launched its second Long March-5 (Chang Zhen-5) rocket on Sunday carrying a super-heavy experimental communications satellite. The launch took place at 11:23 UTC from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre’s LC101 dedicated Launch Complex. However, with the Long March-5, carrying the Shijian-18 satellite, suffered an unspecified failure during what was only its second flight.
China launches Long March-5 Y2 heavy-launcher rocket (Full broadcasting replay)
An update posted on the website of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp., the prime contractor for most of China’s space projects, said the launch was unsuccessful and investigators were looking into the cause of the failure.
The new Shijian-18 experimental communications satellite is based on the new DFH-5 satellite platform, developed by CAST (China Academy of Space Technology) of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).
The two-stage heavy-lift launcher’s next mission was slated to dispatch the Chang’e 5 mission to collect soil and rock specimens from the lunar surface in November. The probe will launch a return capsule from the moon to bring the samples back to to Earth.
Sunday’s doomed flight was the second time China has launched a Long March 5 rocket. The heavy-lifter’s maiden mission in November 2016 was successful.
For more information about China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), visit: http://english.spacechina.com/n16421/index.html
Images, Video, Text, Credits: CASC/Xinhua/New China TV/Orbiter.ch Aerospace.