Chinese Reveal Reason for Long March 5 Launch Failure

Long March 5 on the launch pad. (Credit: China National Space Administration)

Chinese space officials have revealed the cause of the failure of a Long March 5 rocket last July.

An anomaly in the turbine exhaust system caused a reduction in the thrust of the first stage, resulting in the failure. according to a statement released by the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND).

Engineers have conducted multiple hot-fires on the ground to verify the effectiveness of modifications to the system, the statement said.

The third launch of a Long March 5 booster will occur at the end of the year. The booster will then be used to launch the Chang’e-5 lunar sample return mission next year.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    The Chinese put a lot of effort into this system. It’s well over 5 years late, and must have cost them an arm and a leg. It looks like a great pre-SpaceX era launch system as well. I’d hate to be in their position where they either have to use the system as is and eat the cost, modify it further and baby step to reusability, or just dump it much earlier than you’d originally thought.

  • passinglurker

    Can we please for once have an article about anyone but spaceX, and not have the doom cult of the falcon god show up declaring the end of days to all who don’t recycle?

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Ha! Sorry. Well After waiting for us to reach this point in time for 30+ years it’s pretty damn fun watching it happen and looking at the fallout. Sorry to let you down, but it’s a first order forcing function in the market, and analysts should figure it in. The Chinese aimed this rocket at competing with the Europeans and Russians, but the false Falcon god will have something to say about that. So, live with it.

  • passinglurker

    There is a lot happening in the space sector but all you care to appreciate is reusability and launch costs how disappointing.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    I think you’re making far too much out of it.

  • Paul451

    Can we please for once have a comment about SpaceX that doesn’t trigger a tantrum from someone like you?

  • passinglurker

    News: they worked out the kinks the mission to retrieve the first sample from the moon in over 40 years is back on!

    You: their rocket sucks lol!

  • passinglurker

    In an article about spacex perhaps

  • Paul451

    Why? Andrew was commenting on an article about a Chinese launcher, speculating on how the Chinese launcher designers might respond to changes in the launch industry. The fact that the change starts with an S and ends with an X is irrelevant. He’s commenting about China’s launch industry. Where else would he do that except an article about a Chinese launcher?

  • duheagle

    No.

  • duheagle

    Yes. Reusability and launch costs. Such bourgeois concerns. How déclassé.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Go back and read my post and show me where I say “their rocket sucks”. I think you’re reading so much into what I wrote, that you’re putting words into my writings that are not there. Furthermore, if you go back and read it, I think you’ll see just the opposite of what you accuse me of saying.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Thx.

  • Michael Halpern

    The change also has an “E” in the middle, “Space Exploration Technologies”

  • windbourne

    oh, the chinese gov manipulates their money and subsidizes things heavily.
    As such, they will continue with this for sometime.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Of course. And they’ll throw it into any satellite packages they manage to ‘sell’ as part of the Road and Belt Initiative. However if it were not for Space X (Sorry passinglurker) this vehicle would probably have had no problems competing with Proton or Ariane 5.

  • windbourne

    Actually, there really is NOT a lot happening in the space sector at this moment.
    We are seeing launches of lots of sats, but nothing innovative.
    We are seeing several missions that have gone to the lunar orbit and only 1 new nation to have landed on the moon over the last 10 years. Again, nothing really innovative.
    India will land at the lunar south pole, but not really innovative.
    In addition, none of these things have really impacted science or the economics of space.

    However, SX’s already low launch costs and now adding even lower with re-usability is the start of a game changer.
    FH, if used to go to the moon, would be a major game changer.
    So, would be New Glenn.
    Bigelow Aerospace COULD be a major game changer. At this time, The west and China continue to put up tin cans, which are expensive and not really ideal.

    What is funny is that you are upset about seeing a game changer and seem to think that there are other game changers going on.

  • MzUnGu

    SpaceX engineers have the luxury of learning from previous generation engineer who earn their chops on Saturn, Delta Vs…. Your daddy’s tax dollar ate those cost.

    Let me know when SpaceX earn a profit.