Chinese Rocket Crashes – Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center

On Friday, the launch of the Chinese-based Kuaizhou-11 commercial solid rocket, one of the most important events in the Chinese space industry in the last few years, has ended in failure this Friday. The chaotic failure resulted in the loss of two satellites for the Chinese space agency.

Details of the Launch

At 12:17 a.m. Eastern time, the solid rocket launched from a transporter erector launcher in the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, a site that has been used in the past by the Chinese space agency for similar activities.

The site is located in northwest China and is usually used by the Chinese for rocket launches due to its generally sunny weather, stable temperature and low altitude, enabling a correct launch for whatever prototype they are trying to send into space. Unfortunately, this time it did not work out, as the Kuaizhou-11 commercial solid rocket performed well for only a single minute, according to video footage taken at the launch site.

What Does the Agency Say?

Unofficially, as the Chinese space agency refused to comment on the matter, there was a first and a second stage separation in the rocket, then followed by some technical issues and eventually leading to the complete failure of Kuaizhou-11. According to Chinese sources, the exact cause of failure is not yet known, as the matter is undergoing a series of investigations.

The Payload

Of course, the biggest loss for the Chinese space agency is the two satellites that were carried onboard the rocket. The first one was a Jilin-1 video satellite produced by a company called Changguang Satellite Co. Ltd., and it was made for Bilibili, a video sharing website based in China.

The second satellite was, according to unofficial sources, CentiSpace-1-S2. The previous satellite in the series was meant for navigation enhancement techniques and it was supposed to orbit our planet at a low altitude. The second satellite was developed for a company known as Beijing Future Navigation Technology Co., Ltd.

Melanie J. Gullett
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