13:06 GMT +321 October 2019
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    Jiuquan space centre in the Gobi Desert in Jiuquan, northwest China's Gansu. (File)

    WATCH: China’s First Private Rocket Launch Fails

    © AFP 2019 / Jiuquan
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    Zhuque-1, Сhina’s first privately-built rocket failed after launching from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center Sunday.

    China's first attempt to launch a commercially-built rocket into space failed, after the rocket's third stage engine malfunctioned.

    Beijing-based LandSpace said late Saturday that the launch proceeded as expected until something went wrong with the final stage. Zhuque-1, or ZQ-1, is the first commercially-built Chinese three-stage rocket.

    "Cowling separation was normal but something abnormal happened after the second stage," the company said in a statement, without providing any further details of the incident.

    "We still believe that building rockets is the right strategy for the company. We are the first Chinese private company to build a three-stage carrier rocket. That's already a great achievement," the statement said. "We will carry on with our dream for vast space."

    ​The launch took place at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China's northwestern Gansu Province Saturday. The 19-meter-long rocket, with a diameter of 1.35 meters, has a takeoff weight of 27 tons and a thrust of 45 tons, according to CGTN.

    According to Chinese media report, ZQ-1 was carrying a "Future" satellite for Chinese CCTV broadcaster.


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