Long March 2C Fails to Orbit Chinese Prototype Satellite
[Satellite TODAY 08-19-11] China lost its prototype ShiJian 11-04 satellite after the Long March 2C rocket carrying the spacecraft experienced a first stage engine failure that caused the rocket to drastically veer off the launch pad just two seconds after liftoff, Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center officials confirmed Aug. 18.
Chinese reports said the vehicle flew almost completely sideways for approximately one minute before nose-diving into a nearby town. The Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center would not disclose if the incident resulted in any injuries or deaths.
ShiJian 11-04 was developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. and classified as an “experimental spacecraft.” The satellite is part of a series of SJ-11 spacecraft, the first of which launched in November 2009. The second satellite of the series, ShiJian 11-03, was launched July 6 by a CZ-2C Chang Zheng-2C (Y25) rocket.