China’s launch of a new heavy-lift rocket, carrying what the government said was its heaviest ever satellite, failed in flight on Sunday.
Official news agency Xinhua said an anomaly was detected and promised further investigations into the launch of the rocket, known as the Long March-5 Y2.
The same rocket type had been expected to take China’s latest lunar probe to the Moon this year and to return with samples. It is not clear how the timetable for that mission could be affected by the failed launch.
China’s space programme has largely operated without many major hitches, though it is still far behind the US and Russia.
“An anomaly occurred during the flight of the rocket,” Xinhua said after the rocket blasted off in the early evening from the southern island province of Hainan.
“Further investigation will be carried out,” it said, without elaborating.
China says launch of Long March-5 Y2 "unsuccessful". Anomaly was detected during its flight and further investigation will be carried out pic.twitter.com/qQlFVJufB3— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) 2 juillet 2017