China identifies cause of Long March-5 Y2 failure, to launch Y3 this year

Updated 2018-04-17 15:32:58

The cause leading to the failure of China's Long March-5 Y2 rocket has been identified, said the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence on Monday.

Launched at 07:23 p.m. BJT (1123 GMT) on July 2, 2017 from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in southern China's Hainan Province, the rocket started to malfunction 346 seconds after take-off.

Based on simulating calculation and ground tests, experts found the failure was caused by the structural abnormalities occurred in the turbine exhaust device in the engine of the first stage of the rocket, which sharply decreased the engine thrust.

The research team of the Long March-5 carrier rocket project has effectively improved the engine and the improved one has passed many ground tests.

The team now is working on the development and production of the Long March-5 Y3 rocket and plans to launch it in late 2018. The Long March-5 Y4 rocket can also be expected in the future to carry out the launch of China's Chang'e-5 lunar probe.

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