BEIJING -- China plans to launch its heavy-lift carrier rocket, the Long March 5 Y3, in late 2018, after finding the cause of the failure of the Long March 5 Y2, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.
The Long March 5 Y2 rocket was launched from Wenchang Space Launch Center in the southern province of Hainan on July 2, 2017, but a malfunction happened less than six minutes after liftoff.
Analysis based on computer simulations and ground tests showed that a problem occurred in a turbine exhaust device in the engine of the first stage of the rocket, the administration said Monday.
The engine has been improved and has pa[MG_SEO]ssed many ground tests. The research team is producing the Long March 5 Y3 rocket, according to the administration.
If the Long March 5 Y3 rocket is successful, the Long March 5 Y4 rocket will be used to launch the Chang'e-5 lunar probe, which is expected to bring lunar samples back to Earth.