China says Long March 5 will resume launches in 2018

Week Three: Ninth Anniversary Fund-Raising Drive for Behind the Black

It is now the third week in my annual anniversary fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black.

Please consider donating. I am trying to avoid advertising on this website, but will be forced to add it if I do not get enough support from my readers. You can give a one-time contribution, from $5 to $100, or a regular subscription for as little as $2 per month. Your support will be deeply appreciated, and will allow me to continue to report on science and culture freely.

Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *