Chinese commercial missile launch fails for unknown reason

The launch of a commercial Chinese missile has failed. The Kuaizhou-11 missile took off on Friday but did not get into the correct orbit. It is not known exactly what went wrong with the launch.

The rocket took off from the Jiuquan launch base at 12.17 Chinese time. Two satellites were on board the rocket; the Jilin-1 video satellite and a CentiSpace-1-S2 navigation satellite. Both were lost in the failed launch.

What exactly went wrong is unknown. Chinese state media only write that a malfunction occurred during the flight, but the specific cause is still being investigated. A video shows how the rocket takes off, but after 52 seconds the video stops. At the time, there seems to be nothing serious about the missile.

The Kuaizhou-11 is a three-stage commercial solid-fuel rocket. The missile was created by Expace, which is a spin-off from the Chinese state rocket builder CASIC. The failed launch is already the third in China this year. In March, China’s new Long March 7a rocket launched a satellite into the wrong orbit. Less than a month later, the third stage of a long Mars 3b crashed, also losing that satellite.