China’s optical remote-sensing satellite Jilin-1 Gaofen 02C failed to enter the pre-set orbit on Saturday, Beijing’s official media reported. The satellite was launched aboard the Kuaizhou-1A carrier rocket from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 1:02 pm (local time). The launch centre said the mission failed because of abnormal performance, state-run Global Times reported.

Specific reasons for the failure are under investigation, it said. A video of the launch published after the mission showed the rocket taking off from Jiuquan, and the Kuaizhou 11 appeared to fly normally through the burn of its first stage motor. According to media reports, two more solid-fueled stages were expected to fire to place the mission’s two satellite payloads into orbit. Chinese officials did not say at what point in the flight the rocket malfunctioned.

The Jilin-1 satellite constellation was developed on China’s Jilin Province and is the country’s first self-developed remote sensing satellite for commercial use. With its high resolution, large width, and high-speed data transmission, the new satellite was to be used in natural resource surveys, ecological environmental monitoring, urban construction, disaster prevention and mitigation, and other fields.

The first announcement of the mission came on August 24 when the Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co. presented three satellites in the Jilin-1 Gaofen-02 series, referring that the satellites would be launch on three different missions using Kuaizhou-1A launch vehicles.

Satellites Gaofen-02D and Gaofen-02F for the Jilin-1 constellation will be launched on September 17 and September 22, with both launched schedule to take place at around 06:20 UTC. However, Saturday’s failure is likely to delay those launches, according to

The first flight of the Kuaizhou 11 rocket was supposed to occur earlier this year, but the launch was delayed after lockdown of Wuhan. Saturday’s mission was the fourth Chinese failure of 2020 from 26 launches, media reports stated.

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China, Launch vehicle, Kuaizhou, Gaofen 1, Chinese space program, Rocket, Orbital spaceflight, Earth observation satellite

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