China's ambitious space programme suffered a rare setback on Sunday as its new heavy-lift carrier rocket, the Long March-5 Y2 failed to put the country's largest satellite into orbit. Part of China's multi-billion dollar space programme, this rocket was created to carry space station components, communication satellites and deep-space probes into orbit.
It was unclear from the live broadcast of the launch that there had been any problems with the operation. At that time, China said it was the most powerful launcher it had yet developed. The alliance could present Mr Ghani and his shaky government with their most serious challenge since he took office in 2014.
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China says launch of Long March-5 Y2 "unsuccessful". The third flight was due for November, but Sunday's failure calls this schedule into question. The probe will collect samples before returning to Earth.
Xinhua state news agency reported last week that the Long March-5 Y2 will be fuelled by liquid hydrogen, kerosene and liquid oxygen.
The Long March 5 is a key part of China's human spaceflight and planetary exploration plans.
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The rocket was carrying an experimental Shijian-18 communications satellite.
The Long March 5B, if the schedule holds, could to see one or two test launches in 2018, possibly carrying a test capsule for a 20 metric tonne, next-generation spacecraft for human missions.
Construction is slated to begin in 2019, starting with the Tianhe core module. According to experts, the massive heavy rockets also have fined tuned China's missile power.
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