China reveals cause of Long March 5 failure And future plans


Jan 21, 2015
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Some article highlights.

The State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND), which oversees China’s space activities, released a report April 16 attributing the failure to a turbopump on one of two liquid-oxygen and hydrogen YF-77 engines powering the rocket’s first stage.

The turbopump’s exhaust structure, according to SASTIND, failed while under “complex thermal conditions.”

Redesigned YF-77 engines have already been through hot fire testing at a site in a ravine near Xi’an in north China. The tests have verified the effectiveness of the measures taken, according to the report.

The return to flight is to take place late in the year, with previous space industry statements pointing to November.
Instead, the third Long March 5 will carry an experimental telecommunications satellite named Shijian-20, or “Practice-20” in Chinese, based on a new, large DFH-5 satellite platform, similar to the Shijian-18 satellite lost in July.
The SASTIND report states that the fourth Long March 5 will now carry the Chang’e-5 lunar sample return mission, launching in 2019. The mission will be the first of its kind for more than four decades and aims to collect around 2 kilograms of regolith from a site close to Mons Rümker in Oceanus Procellarum in the northwest of the moon’s near side.

A successful return to flight of the Long March 5 would also pave the way for the test launch of the Long March 5B, a variant developed for low Earth orbit launches and tasked with lofting 20 metric ton modules for a planned space station. The 5B is slated to perform its test flight around June 2019, according to a statement in March from theChina Manned Space Engineering Office.

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
Oct 9, 2009
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Regarding the Shijian-20 satellite: