Sunday, 18 November, 2018

First Launch For Biggest Chinese SpaceX Competition Fails

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Andrew Cummings | 31 October, 2018, 07:35

Beijing-based LandSpace said late Saturday that the launch proceeded as expected until something went wrong with the final stage.

Video posted by a Chinese news site showed Landspace's 19-meter- (62-foot-) tall red-and-white rocket lifting off against clear blue skies.

The Zhuque-1 rocket was designed by Chinese space company Landspace and comprised three stages.

The Zhuque-1 three-stage rocket reportedly launched in the afternoon from a mobile platform at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, in northwest China.

Landscape said that "cowling separation was normal but something abnormal happened after the second stage".

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"Before Zhuque carrier rocket was launched, its mission was already completed", the company said in the post on Saturday, without giving further details. Only the company's dreams of space superpower-dom were harmed.

The rocket launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in Mongolia, and was supposed to carry the satellite "Future" into orbit.

"This final result is not flawless, but we have achieved some of our goals, especially the key steps like the rocket's stages and cowling separation", a spokesman told a press conference at the launch site.

As previously reported, China's Shenyang J-15 was more modern and ergonomic fighter than put in it is based on Soviet-Russian su-33.

Since assuming power in 2012, President Shi has set as a priority China's emergence of a space superpower, having as its first ambitious goal the creation of a permanent manned Chinese station around the Earth in about 2022. It remains to be seen if the launch failure would alter the plans of launching Zhuque-2, which the company had been due to start building this next year.

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