It seems that China’s plans for future space missions are facing difficulties. According to some sources, delays could be caused due to an issue with the rockets required for launches.
China’s most powerful rocket, the Long March 5 that was being prepared for its third launch in July, also encountered issues. The heavy-lift rocket’s mission was to launch massive spacecraft to geosynchronous orbits and planetary bodies. However, the launch vehicle is not ready to be used yet. This comes as a significant problem, especially since the second launch of the rocket, that took place in 2017, was a failure.
The next Long March 5 launches are already planned. The fourth one should take place at the end of the year, sending the Chang’e-5 lunar sample return mission into translunar injection. The fifth launch was expected to take place in August 2020, marking China’s first independent mission to Mars. However, since the third launch is currently in standby, the schedule of the next two missions might be altered.
China’s upcoming space missions to suffer delays due to technical issues
The components of the launch vehicle are manufactured in the city of Tianjin and are transported to the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center with the aid of two cargo ships, Yuanwang-21 and Yuanwang-22. This takes around two-and-a-half weeks, followed by two months of preparations at the launch site.
However, the components have not been transported to the launch center yet, and no official update has been given regarding the progress of the planned July mission.
When the Long March 5 launch vehicle is ready, it is going to carry a communication satellite, the Shijan-20 (“Practice-20”). During the launch, a new satellite platform, the DFH-5, will be used, as it has been specially designed to support satellites weighing from 6,500 to 9,000 kilograms.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.