(Yicai Global) Sept. 2 -- Yesterday morning, around two am, a Long March 4B rocket, an orbital carrier rocket, was launched from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, located in Central China's Shanxi province. It fell to the sky immediately after launch, but Chinese authorities did not release any details about the abortive flight.
The apparent reason for the rocket's failure is that the booster and the nosecone did not disengage, according to Mr. Song Zhongping's, a PLA military rocket academy professor, writing on his Weibo blog page.
The rocket debris was found strewn over woods in Shangyang county. The police did not release any details about the distance the rocket traveled before crashing, however they said they met the target for retrieving the failed satellites' remains, according to Shanxi's public security bureau's official Weibo.
The Long March 4B rocket is used mostly to place satellites into low Earth orbit and is the prime rocket in the country's national aeronautical flee, used mostly by China for space transportation. This is the second launch failure in 16 years for rockets of this type. A previous launch failure occurred on December 9, 2013, when a Long March 4B rocket failed to launch the CBERS-3 satellite into low earth orbit.
During the boost of the third stage, one of its two engines shut down prematurely and the satellite failed to leave the Earth's atmosphere. Then, the cause was traced to a foreign object that blocked the fuel intake of the engine.
The Long March 4B rocket involved in yesterday's crash was intended to beam back Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) signals. These are capable of monitoring 3D objects from space, including US aircraft carriers, according to an anonymous source.
There was another successful launch on Aug. 10 , when Taiyuan Space Center launched a Long March 4C rocket into low earth orbit. Yesterday's launch was a rare failure, as they have previously had 27 successful flights.