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China Moon Space

China's Rocket Fails After Liftoff (cnn.com) 114

An anonymous reader quotes CNN: The second launch of China's new-generation Long March-5 carrier rocket failed Sunday -- dealing a blow to the country's ambitious space aspirations. Carrying an experimental communications satellite, China's largest rocket lifted off at 7:23 p.m. local time (7:23 a.m. ET) toward clear skies from the seaside Wenchang space launch center on the southern Chinese island of Hainan. But 40 minutes later, the state-run Xinhua news agency flashed a headline declaring the launch a failure -- without providing any details.

Dubbed "Chubby 5" for its huge size -- 5 meters in diameter and 57 meters tall -- the LM-5 rocket is designed to carry up to 25 tons of payload into low orbit, more than doubling the country's previous lift capability... The launch failure means further delay for a series of planned Chinese space endeavors -- including its robotic and eventual human lunar programs -- according to Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor at the US Naval War College and an expert on China's space program... China has announced plans to land a robotic probe on the dark side of the moon later this year and to reach Mars around 2020. All such future missions will depend on the LM-5 and space officials told reporters Sunday that the latest launch would help perfect the rocket design, including enabling it to send a space station into orbit "in a year or two."

This morning Elon Musk tweeted his condolences, adding "I know how painful that is to the people who designed & built it."
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China's Rocket Fails After Liftoff

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  • I went to go see a doctor to fix it.
  • "I know how painful that is to the people who designed & built it."

    You don't really, Elon. Unless you've started sending people to the salt mines.

    • You don't really, Elon. Unless you've started sending people to the salt mines.

      You really think the Central Committee is going to send rocket scientists to the salt mines because they lost a vehicle?

      This isn't Italy, you know.

      • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

        Only Stalin's Russia was so harsh as to demand gulag time for a rocket failure. (And to his credit, Korolev took the full blame, knowing he was indispensable)

        I'm not even convinced Norh Korea would be so shortsighted as to send a rocket scientist to a salt mine over a launch failure.

        China definitely wouldn't... they save that for dissidents

        • by cheesybagel ( 670288 ) on Sunday July 02, 2017 @04:37PM (#54731141)

          Korolev himself was sent to work in a platinum mine where he lost his teeth when he was younger. If it wasn't for Tupolev getting him out, to work in his prison lab, he would quite likely have died there in the mines. Korolev was interested in rocket powered airplanes when he was younger. Those back then were considered to have limited applications, so he was basically sentenced for misusing state resources or something like that.

      • The rocket scientists? No. But I would sure hate to be their family right about now...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sit1963nz ( 934837 )
      ROTFLMAO, this from a country that has about 1% of its adult population in prison. You have the highest prison population (per 100,000) in the world.
      Worse, is those prisons are often work camps, you either work making stuff that makes the owners money or you go to solitary.

      You have children sent to Juvi for disrupting class.

      Never mind all the "back ops" sites where you can detain people without charge , with access to lawyers, etc etc indefinitely.

      Clean up your own mess.
      • ROTFLMAO, this from a country that has about 1% of its adult population in prison. You have the highest prison population (per 100,000) in the world.

        No we don't. Stop lying.

        • by sit1963nz ( 934837 ) on Sunday July 02, 2017 @05:52PM (#54731543)
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

          According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 2,220,300 adults were incarcerated in US federal and state prisons, and county jails in 2013 – about 0.91% of adults (1 in 110) in the U.S. resident population.[2] Additionally, 4,751,400 adults in 2013 (1 in 51) were on probation or on parole.[2] In total, 6,899,000 adults were under correctional supervision (probation, parole, jail, or prison) in 2013 – about 2.8% of adults (1 in 35) in the U.S. resident population
          • According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 2,220,300 adults were incarcerated in US federal and state prisons, and county jails in 2013 – about 0.91% of adults (1 in 110) in the U.S. resident population.

            See! It's not 1%! It's only 0.91% Big difference! Huge!

  • Possibly you mean far side?

    • No. See meaning 4.

      https://www.merriam-webster.co... [merriam-webster.com]

      • No. The whole moon has been photographed in about comparable detail.

        'Dark' is just wrong. You could make an argument for 'radio dark', but that's even more unclear. There is a dark side of the moon, just as there is a dark side of the earth. They just move.

        You'd think that CNN would be making extra efforts, right now, to not be clowns...'far side', it's not complicated.

        • No. The whole moon has been photographed in about comparable detail.

          It has now. Was it always so?

          • Do we still call it 'darkest Africa'?

            Scotland was once a blank spot on the map.

            Besides which, there is a 'dark side of the moon'. It's not always the same side, but it exists, using clear, non fake-news organization face saving, definitions.

      • There is no dark side of the moon, really. Matter of fact, it's all dark.

    • There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it's all dark.

      • by Jeremi ( 14640 )

        There is no dark side of the moon really.

        Surely they meant the inside. It's very dark in there.

  • first Chinese launcher to fully use liquid propellant.

    China (and seemingly India, though wikipedia's usage of "booster" and "second stage" without a first stage confuses me, since I expect SRBs to be strapped next to a liquid propellant first stage) still use solid motor rockets for their first stages???

    • The CZ-5 uses LOX/Kerosene in the first stage. AFAIK most older Chinese rockets use liquid hypergolic propellants in the first stages. With the exception of Long March 3 and KT-1 which use solids.

    • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

      The Soyuz rocket discards liquid boosters.

      It's just the classic trade off of cost vs capability. Solid boosters have traditionally been much cheaper, and have a very good record for reliability.

      (Yes, yes, the shuttle SRB's failed when launched in conditions way outside of their design limits... and the same will happen if you abuse a liquid booster as badly)

      • USSR had a serious problem with solid fuel chemistry so they used liquid fuel even in their ICBMs. That made their submarines so huge.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      It really depends on the nation, its mil and what it could design or what tech it could buy in from another nation.
      So the dual use science for rockets in many nations tracked their sat and mil thinking.
      What a rocket that can be launched quickly with the payload been kept safe? i.e. first strike?
      Any low cost rocket that can be launched with a good payload? Just enough for a low cost nuclear deterrent?
      A rocket that is ready or that needed some time to get ready. The leadership has to be aware of a roc
  • Maybe they could hire the engineers of Troposphere V.

    https://youtu.be/bF55DtTx458?t... [youtu.be]

  • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Sunday July 02, 2017 @04:12PM (#54731001) Homepage Journal

    I assume the malfunction failed to get it into the correct orbital profile, since the limited videos available all look okay? (no kaboom) Or does someone have a more informative video?

    • Re:failure in orbit? (Score:5, Informative)

      by dlapine ( 131282 ) <lapine@iPASCALllinois.edu minus language> on Sunday July 02, 2017 @07:38PM (#54731987) Homepage

      There's some reasonable, in-depth analysis on the failure here: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42798.200 [nasaspaceflight.com]. Be warned, if you like rockets and spaceflight, going to that site will cost you time.

      Summary: The first stage/boosters failed to generate enough thrust to achieve the proper staging point, as shown by the planned plot on the broadcast and the actual track. Some speculation points at a failure of one the boosters during the initial flight phase (before the boosters separate). The second stage separated and fired considerably later than planned and at some point, the mission was declared to be unsuccessful, due to flight anomalies.

      Politics aside, please note that the open broadcast of the launch is what enables this informed discussion, and for that, us space geeks can appreciate the access granted by the Chinese Space Agency to the live broadcast.

      Opinion: this was not helpful for the Chinese launch program, but at least the vehicle didn't RUD (rapid unplanned disassembly). Analysis of the telemetry will assist them in determining the cause, and may help them to engineer a fix. It's still a setback to their heavy lift ambitions for this year.

      • You are a bad person.....
        You just ruined my evening.

      • by v1 ( 525388 )

        Thanks for the info. Yep, they don't call it "rocket science" for nothing. Heard put another way, "Getting to space is EASY. Staying in space is hard." Getting enough angular orbital speed going and in the orientation you want it is the biggest challenge.

        Due to no RUD they should have been able to downlink all the data they need to fully identify the issue and fix it in the next go-round though. Not having to collect debris scattered across thousands of miles and reassemble the bits in a large hanger f

  • "State-run" (Score:3, Funny)

    by kelanos ( 4973983 ) on Sunday July 02, 2017 @05:10PM (#54731321)

    the state-run Xinhua news agency

    funny how you never hear:

    the state-run BBC news agency

    so very funny

    • Re:"State-run" (Score:4, Insightful)

      by LostInTaiwan ( 837924 ) on Sunday July 02, 2017 @06:25PM (#54731685)

      It's not so funny when the government locks you up because you criticize the validity of an Xinhua article. That is the everyday reality faced by Chinese residents and that is the biggest difference between the state-run Xinhua and the state-funded BBC.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by chispito ( 1870390 )

      the state-run Xinhua news agency

      funny how you never hear:

      the state-run BBC news agency

      so very funny

      Just because it's a national broadcasting company doesn't mean it's state-run. You say "state run" when you're referring to the Chinese news in this case because the government gets editorial power. That's nothing at all like the BBC.

      • Yes, it does.

        And anyway, however you want to cut it, most of the government and the media are essentially the same entity here. Democrats = media, at any rate, that can't be argued against sanely.

        • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

          Only about 80 percent of the news organizations are actually run by the DNC. Many are still independent. They're working on it though.

    • Re:"State-run" (Score:4, Informative)

      by Ryanrule ( 1657199 ) on Sunday July 02, 2017 @07:12PM (#54731885)
      The BBC is state funded, not state run.
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by kelanos ( 4973983 )

        Xinhua is state funded, not state run.

        • If you can be jailed for criticising its stories, then it's state-run.

          • If you can be ostracized from society for criticizing its stories, then it's state run, and your state has rampaged through all boundaries seizing everything, in which case, you probably don't have a 'state' per se, you have a shell controlled by a small 'interest group'.

            Did I ever say Xinhua wasn't state run??

            Also do you actually know what you're talking about? Are there examples of this?

            And obviously you have no point, a news outlet can be state run without such overt acts.
            At very least the Chinese are ho

  • Still haven't heard what the issue was that defined the launch a failure. :)
  • Did the communist party ban all news outlets from viewing the launch? Confiscate cell phones from people in the area?

    Otherwise it's hard to imagine how they launched such a big expensive rocket and not one person recorded it.

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