China’s mission to launch a new heavy-lift rocket, called the Long March-5 Y2, which the government touted as the heaviest ever satellite failed, as reported by officials at news agency in Xinhua. The very same type of rocket was slated to take the country’s lunar probe mission to Moon this year and was expected to return with valuable samples. However, the effect of the failed launch on the mission timetable is still unclear.
Official Response to the Failed Launch
President Xi Jinping has held China’s space mission at great importance. He has prioritized the same to strengthen the country’s national security. Time and again his government has stressed on the fact, such space missions are purely peaceful initiatives on pact of the country. Xinhua in a statement released after the failed launch clarified that it may have occurred due to an anomaly, which occurred during the rocket’s flight.
Most of China’s space program operated without any bottlenecks or major hitches, though it is yet to catch up with the likes of Russia and the US. In late 2013, Jade Rabbit rover from China landed on the Moon, which was celebrated with a great national fanfare, but later it run into several technical glitches.
In light of frequent space missions by China, the US Defense Department has said that China was pursuing these activities to prevent other nations from taking benefits of space-based assets, even in crisis. According to reports, China is gearing to send man to the Moon. In 2003, it became the third nation to send man in space on its rocket trailing Soviet Union and the US.