China’s launch of remote-sensing optical satellite fails to reach orbit

China's attempt to send an optical satellite to orbit has ended in failure after the rocket took off from a launch centre.

The remote-sensing satellite, Jilin-1 Gaofen 02C, was launched aboard the Kuaizhou-1A carrier rocket at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 1.02pm on Saturday.

Video circulating on Weibo shows a long trail of smoke appearing in the sky minutes after the rocket lifted off from a transporter erector launcher in Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region of northern China.

According to state-owned media Xinhua, the launch centre confirmed the failure of the mission five hours after launch.

It was the fourth Chinese failure of 2020 from the country's 26 launches.

Officials claimed to have identified abnormal performance during the launch and will look into details in an investigation.

The satellite was understood to have 0.76-meter resolution capabilities with a swath width of 40 km.

The series of Jilin-1 Earth observation satellites are built as the country’s first self-developed remote sensing satellite for commercial use.

Data is aimed to help clients forecast and mitigate geological disasters, as well as shorten the time scale for the exploration of natural resources.

The launch on Saturday came after the Long March 4B rocket launch, which its booster crashed near a school building in a mountainous village.

The Kuaizhou-1A rocket was backed and owned by China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp., a giant state-owned enterprise, missile-maker and defence contractor.

Official report indicated that the rocket consists of three solid stages and a liquid propellant upper stage, and is capable of lofting a 200-kilogram payload into a 700-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit.

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