Long March 5 rocket launch fails

Violet Powell
July 3, 2017

China's ambitious space program suffered a setback today, as it has failed in the launch of its second heavy-lift carrier rocket "Long March-5 Y2".

The Long March-5 Y2 rocket, carrying the Shijian-18 communications satellite, blasted off at 7.23pm from the Wenchange Space Launch Centre in the southern province of Hainan, trailing a vast column of flame.

This was the second flight of the Long March 5, which debuted successfully in November previous year.

The launch is the last test for the Long March-5 series before its mission to send the Chang'e-5 lunar probe into space in the latter half of this year, which will return with samples, the report said. The rocket has reportedly deviated from its flight path according to live tracking data displayed.

India recently successfully launched its heaviest rocket till date the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MK III, dubbed "Baahubali", a rocket capable of carrying 4 tonne class of communications satellites.

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WASHINGTON • An American warship yesterday sailed by a disputed island in the South China Sea occupied by Beijing as part of an operation to demonstrate freedom of navigation in the waters, a United States official said. The third flight was due for November, but Sunday's failure calls this schedule into question.

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 says launch of Long March-5 Y2 "unsuccessful".

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.

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