In a major embarrassment, China’s second heavy-lift carrier rocket launch has failed. The country’s attempt to launch its second heavy-lift carrier rocket ‘Long March-5 Y2’ failed on Sunday after an abnormity was detected during flight, PTI reported quoting official media sources. State-run Xinhua news agency, said abnormity was detected during the flight of the rocket, which blasted off at 7:23 pm (local time) from Wenchang Space Launch Center in southern province of Hainan. Further investigation will be carried out. The rocket was due to carry the heaviest Shijian-18 satellite. The launch was 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 was to return with samples.
Noteworthy, India this month flexed its scientific muscle in front of the world. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 23 had hailed the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for the successful polar satellite launch carrying 31 satellites, saying the space agency has made the country proud. ISRO’s workhorse rocket PSLV-38 blasted off from the spaceport in Sriharikota, carrying the Cartosat-2 series satellite – a dedicated satellite for the defence forces – along with 30 co-passenger satellites. Cartosat-2 is a remote sensing satellite and it is similar in configuration to earlier satellites in the series with the objective of providing high-resolution scene specific spot imagery.
The imagery sent by the satellite would be useful for cartographic applications, urban and rural, coastal land use and regulation, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps, change detection to bring out geographical and man-made features and various other land information system (LIS) as well as geographical information systems (GIS).
What is Shijian-18 satellite?
With a weight of 7.5 tonnes, Shijian-18 is China’s latest technology experiment satellite and the heaviest satellite China has ever launched into space, an earlier report by Xinhua said. It was aimed at testing China’s new Dongfanghong-5 (DFH-5) satellite platform and carry out in-orbit experiments including Q/V band satellite communication, satellite-ground laser communication technologies and an advanced Hull electric propulsion system, it said.
What is Long March-5 rocket?
The Long March-5 made its maiden flight in November 2016 from Wenchang. It can carry a payload of 25 tonnes into low Earth orbit and 14 tonnes in geostationary orbit, over twice the capacity of previous Long March models. The rocket uses environmentally friendly fuel, including kerosene, liquid hydrogen, and liquid oxygen, rather than highly toxic propellants, the report said.
In April this year, China had launched its first cargo spacecraft, Tianzhou-1, into space using the country’s heaviest Long March-7 Y2 carrier rocket to dock with the orbiting experimental space station which was expected to be operationalised by 2022. Tianzhou-1 was larger and heavier than Tiangong-2, which is 10.4 meters in length and has a maximum diameter of 3.35 meters, weighing 8.6 tonnes.