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

China says launch of Long March-5 Y2

Further investigation will now be carried out into what caused the failure.

The State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence said on Satuirday that the Long March-5 Y2 would be launched from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in China's southern Hainan Province on Sunday.

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Johnson-Freese points notes that the Long March 5 is essential for the future Chinese Space Station and both robotic and human lunar programmes. But with today's failure it seems these dreams of China will have to wait as its dream of developing an advanced space centre will be impacted.

Notably Johnson-Freese also points out that the incident perhaps even gives India a, "window to make up some ground in the Asian space race for prestige and technology that equates to regional strategic influence".

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The launch of a Chinese heavy-lift carrier rocket failed shortly after blast off on Sunday due to an "anomaly", according to the official news agency Xinhua. That spacecraft would be China's second lunar lander mission and the first sample return mission by any nation in more than four decades.

The rocket's first launch, in November 2016, was declared a success although issues with the rocket placed the payload, the Shijian-17 satellite, into not quite the planned orbit.

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The Long March-5 Y2 was fuelled with liquid hydrogen, kerosene and liquid oxygen and the process of filling propellant reportedly began from Saturday. 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. The core module of the station will be launched on a Long March 5 in 2018 or 2019.

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