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10th Sino Satellite failure : Chinese Satellite Gaofen-02C launch fails to reach orbit, crashes

  • TeamPresentMirror | Updated: Sept. 13, 2020, 10:59 p.m.

Chinese satellite launcher Kuaizhou-1A crashed adding to the 10th such failure in the Hall of Fame of Failed launches in the world on 12th September. The official confirmation of the failure was provided by the state media hours after the launch. The specific reasons for the failure are still not known and are being analysed. The failure should not be surprising given the history of such occurrences for a Made in China product.


China’s new high resolution remote sensing satellite, Jilin-1 Gaofen-02C also known as Neimenggu-1, ended up in a tragic failure this Saturday. Within hours after the launch the satellite failed to achieve the desired orbital path and came crashing down to earth. The satellite failure poses a big question mark on Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, and its future manoeuvres like Gaofen-02D and Gaofen-02F which is to be launched on September 17 and September 22.

Watch how the satellite crashed in this video shared by a twitter user.

Setback for Kuaizhou space programme?

Failures are not new for China. While the Chinese propaganda portals have chosen to stay mum on the issue. This failure is a big setback for Kuaizhou programme which is witnessing its consecutive lauch failure in this year. Kuaizhou-1A rockets are part of Expace, owned by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. (CASIC). This organisation is also responsible for secretive Chinese defense projects such as missiles.

History of Chinese Failures

Inaugural launch of the Long March 7A failed while the Expace Kuaizhou-11 also crashed. The failure of Long March 3B led to the loss of the Indonesian communications satellite, Palapa-N1. This makes it the fourth consecutive failure of the heavily ambitious Chinese Space Programme in 2020. The launches to low-Earth and Sun-synchronous orbits generally do not end up in a failure, but that does not seem to be true for China.

China still doesn’t know where their satellite Gaofen-10 is. China lost Gaofen-10 remote sensing satellite on Long March 4C from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in 2016. Chinese tabloid Global Times should still be happy considering it was not as embarrassing as the launch of Long March 3B. China's most shocking launch failure occurred in February 1996, when the first Long March 3B rocket went off course immediately after launch from Xichang, as a result smashing into the nearby hills. The recent event is only a textbook repetition of the Chinese way.

The Jilin-1 satellite, weighing 230 kgs, if successful could have given static push to high resolution imagery with full colour precision up to 0.75 m and multi spectral resolution up to 3.1 m. China, which is trying to establish itself as an expansionist imperialist superpower in the world, such failures will only further dampen the fiery desires of the dragon in the Space Arena while facing opposition from successful and formidable organisations like ISRO and NASA. ISRO alone has record of 39 consecutive successful PSLV launches.

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