First Launch For Chinese Rival To SpaceX Competition Fails To Put Satellite Into Orbit
China’s privately developed attempt to launch a satellite into Earth’s orbit failed during the final stage of its flight Saturday.
An “abnormality” in the third stage of the Zhuque-1 rocket failed to put the CCTV satellite, named “Future,” into orbit, according to a Saturday Weibo post from LandSpace, the firm that developed and secured a license to launch the rocket.
LandSpace has yet to release information on how the mishap occurred, and a statement from spokesman Guo Xin says the company is investigating, CNN reports.
The Zhuque-1 three-stage rocket launched from a platform at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China. LandSpace says it’s the first Chinese company to acquire a license to launch such a payload into space. (RELATED: NASA Scientists Fix Hubble Telescope By Turning It Off And On Again)
“The rocket flew normally after launch, the first and second levels worked normally, the fairing separated normally, and the third level was abnormal,” LandSpace’s long-form post to Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social media platform, said of its mission.
OneSpace, another Chinese rocketry firm, successfully launched a suborbital rocket flight in May that boasted “the first rocket developed and built entirely with homegrown technology,” according to CNN.
SpaceX is headed for its third launch of a single reusable rocket, the Falcon 9, on Nov. 19, according to Ars Technica, and has reportedly obtained clients for its Falcon Heavy semi-reusable rocket, which launched a Tesla car into space Feb. 6.
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