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Long March-5 Y2 Launch Unsuccessful

July 2  

The launch of China's latest heavy-lift carrier rocket, the Long March-5 Y2, was announced unsuccessful on Sunday evening.

An anomaly occurred during the flight of the rocket, which blasted off at 7:23 p.m. from Wenchang Space Launch Center in southern province of Hainan. 

The rocket, carrying the Shijian-18 satellite, blasted off at 7:23 p.m.

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.

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.

It should have been a test of 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.

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.