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First Launch of Chinese Kuaizhou- 11 Rocket Fails

First Launch of Chinese Kuaizhou- 11 Rocket Fails
 Kuaizhou- 11 Rocket 

The first launch of a new Chinese Kuaizhou-11 commercial solid rocket ended in failure Friday resulting in the loss of two satellites. Kuaizhou, fast ship in Chinese, is a low-cost solid-fueled carrier rocket. The rocket was designed to launch low-Earth and Sun-synchronous orbit satellites.

The Kuaizhou-11 lifted off at 12:17 a.m. Eastern from a transporter erector launcher at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, northwest China.

Video footage of the launch taken from a delayed stream indicates the rocket performed well for at least one minute, with unofficial reports of first and second stage separation. Terse reports from Chinese media state that the specific cause of the failure is ‘under further analysis and investigation’.

The mission was China’s 19th launch of 2020, following the successful launch of the APSTAR-6D communications satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit Thursday.

China has suffered three failures this year. These were the debut launch of the Long March 7A in March, a new launcher which may replace the aging, hypergolic Long March 3B. The latter launcher failed in April resulting in the loss of the Indonesian Palapa-N1 communications satellite.

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