Friday the 13th was an unlucky day for Chinese launch provider iSpace, which saw its Hyperbola-1 rocket suffer its third straight launch failure.
The Xinhua news agency reported the Hyperbola-1 rocket suffered “abnormal performance” after lifting off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 3:09 p.m. Beijing time (3:09 a.m. EDT). The cause of the failure is under investigation, the agency said.
The Jilin-1 Mofang-01A Earth observation satellite was lost in the failure. It was a replacement for a satellite lost when a Hyperbola 1 booster failed in August 2021. The rocket also failed to orbit unidentified payloads in February 2021.
The four-stage, solid-fuel booster is now one for four in launches since a successful maiden flight in July 2019 for which iSpace became the first private Chinese company to orbit a satellite.