China left red-faced as first launch of Kuaizhou-11 carrier rocket fails

China’s Kuaizhou-11 solid-fuelled carrier rocket suffered a failure during its maiden flight on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The rocket was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 12:17 p.m. (local time), but a malfunction occurred during the flight. Kuaizhou, which means ‘fast ship’ in Chinese, is a low-cost solid-fueled carrier rocket with high reliability and a short preparation period.

With a lift-off mass of 70.8 tonnes, the rocket was designed to launch low-Earth and Sun-synchronous orbit satellites.

The specific cause of the failure is under analysis and investigation.

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