China’s First Private Rocket Launch Fails

China's ZQ-1 rocket

China's ZQ-1 rocket

It privatised parts of the space industry in 2014, allowing private companies to develop small satellites and launch rockets.

The first Franco-Chinese satellite was launched into orbit on Monday to study ocean surface winds and waves around the clock, better predict cyclones and improve scientists' understanding of climate change.

China's first private satellite launch was unsuccessful due to the carrier rocket failing to reach orbit, Reuters reported.

It was the first three-stage rocket built by a private company in China. Zhuque-1, or ZQ-1, is the first commercially-built Chinese three-stage rocket.

It took off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in north west China on Saturday.

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Zhuque-1, a privately developed Chinese carrier rocket by Beijing-based Landspace, lifts off from the launch pad at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu province, China October 27, 2018.

"Cowling separation was normal but something abnormal happened after the second stage", the company said in a statement, without providing any further details of the incident. The statement did say building such rockets is "the right decision for the company".

'That's already a great achievement. Only the company's dreams of space superpower-dom were harmed.

China has been trying to join the independent space race - kick-started by Blue Origin, SpaceX and Virgin Galactic - since 2012, when President Xi Jinping declared that becoming a space flight superpower would be a priority for the country.

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