Scientists reveal cause of failure of second Long March 5 rocket

Scientists have revealed the cause of the failure of the second Long March 5 rocket in July last year. The Long March-5 (Y2) rocket which lifted off on July 2, 2017 from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre on Hainan Island suffered a terminal loss of thrust less than six minutes after launch and failed to reach orbit.

According information released by the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, analysis and investigations based on computer simulations identified the problem as a turbine exhaust device in the engine of the first stage of the rocket.

The rocket engine that powers the rocket's first stage has now been modified to address the fault and undergone testing at a facility in North China.

The third Long March 5 is now expected to launch in late 2018. If successful, the fourth launch of the heavy-lift rocket will carry the Chang'e-5 lunar sample return mission to Oceanus Procellarum on the near side of the Moon in 2019.