Launch failure – Chinese Kuaizhou-1A rocket

Launch failure – Chinese Kuaizhou-1A rocket

A Kuaizhou-1A solid rocket fails following a take-off on late Tuesday. The failure results in the loss of a pair of commercial satellites which was in order to test navigation enhancement for autonomous driving.

The Kuaizhou-1A light-lift solid rocket take-off details –
  • From – Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert
  • Time – 9 p.m. Eastern
  • Date – December 15, 2021
This is as revealed by airspace closure notices.

Chinese state media confirms the launch failure a few hours later. Concisely states that the launch failure and the precise reasons are being further analysed and examined.

The flight had the first two satellites for Geespace which is a subsidiary of automaker Geely. The pair were meant to test navigation support and connectivity for autonomous driving. This is as per the previous statements.

The failure is a blow to industrial launch service provider Expace. More facts –
  • It is a subsidiary of giant state-owned missile and defense supplier CASIC. (China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation).
  • CASIC is an individual entity to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).
  • CASC is the nation’s main space service provider and operator of the Long March rockets.

CASIC and Expace express their plans at an industrial space forum in late November for seven launches in the following three months for a variety of clients. The Kuaizhou-1A is probable in ground until an inquiry concludes and the causes are emerge.

Expace faces encouragement by three successful Kuaizhou-1A launches across September, October and November. Which follows the Kuaizhou-1A being grounded for one year as a result of a collapse in September 2020.

Tuesday’s objective was the 14th Kuaizhou-1A flight and the subsequent failure. More about the launch –
  • The first launch took place in January 2017.
  • The launcher comprises of three solid stages and a liquid propellant upper stage.
  • It is capable of carrying 200 kilograms of payload into a 700-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit (SSO).

The bigger Kuaizhou-11 has its first flight in July 2020 which results in a failure. A return-to-flight is yet to take place.

The struggles of Expace present prospective opportunities for entrants in China’s evolving industrial space sector.


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