China says Long March 5 will resume launches in 2018

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The new colonial movement: Though the details are vague, a Chinese official said earlier this week that they now expect to resume launches of their Long March 5 rocket in 2018.

The article says that the July launch failure of the second Long March 5 was due to “a manufacturing defect affecting one of two YF-77 engines powering the first stage. If officially confirmed, this would mean no major effects such as redesign are required, meaning a relatively swift return to flight.”

The long delay since July however suggests to me that the defect was more serious, and has either required that redesign or a complete recall of all YF-77 engines.


One comment

  • Dick Eagleson

    It’s only been four months since July. That’s long enough for SpaceX to investigate an accident and return to flight, but this is a government space agency we’re talking about here. Long March 5 is key to China’s manned space program just as Shuttle was to ours. If LM5 really does launch again next year, that’ll be a considerably quicker return to service for a man-rated vehicle following an accident than anything NASA has managed since the Apollo 1 fire even if it seems pokey by the standard SpaceX has set.

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