Chinese Launch Failure Due to Blocked Fuel Line

Long March 2C. (Credit: CGWIC)
Long March. (Credit: CGWIC)

Space News reports on the recent failure of a Chinese launch vehicle:

China’s launch-services provider on March 3 said the December failure of a Long March 4B rocket was due to debris that blocked fuel intake of an upper-stage engine, resulting in the loss of the CBERS-3 Earth observation satellite owned jointly by China and Brazil.

In a statement, The China Great Wall Industry Corp. (CGWIC) said the debris, which caused the premature shutdown of the second of two third-stage engines, likely came from “the launch vehicle pressurization feeding system or the assembly process of the third-stage engine.”

“Corrective actions including strengthening quality management and perfecting the foreign object debris-control techniques [during] assembly, integration and test” would be put into place immediately, CGWIC said, on both delivered vehicles and those under production.

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