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Long March 7A Suffers Launch Failure

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
March 16, 2020
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A Long March 7A booster failed after liftoff from the Wenchang Space Launch Center on Monday, destroying a new technology verification satellite known as Xinjishu Yanzheng-6.

Official Chinese news media acknowledged the failure of the new booster without providing any details concerning the loss. Very little is known about the lost payload.

Long March 7A is an upgraded version of the two-stage Long March 7 booster that was successfully launched two times in 2016 and 2017. Long March 7A employs a third stage powered by two cryogenic YF-75 engines that operate on liquid oxygen (LOX) and liquid hydrogen.

Long March 7A’s first two stages are powered by RP-1 and LOX. The rocket also includes four small strap-on boosters attached to the first stage.

The booster is designed to replace older models of Long March launchers that are powered by toxic hypergolic fuels.

2 responses to “Long March 7A Suffers Launch Failure”

  1. duheagle says:

    The Chinese have had significant problems attempting to step away from hypergolics. One wonders if the LM7’s problem was with the kerolox booster stage, as was the case with LM5, or whether the culprit this time was the hydrolox upper stage? One also has to wonder how much of such trouble with smaller rockets will carry over to the notional, and huge, LM9?

  2. Andrew Tubbiolo says:

    When the Chinese are not acting in concert with Western partners their efforts look Soviet and fall short. It’s good to see that after 30 years some technologies and methods have not transferred yet.

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