China's new heavy-lift rocket launch fails in flight

China’s launch of a new heavy-lift rocket, the Long March-5 Y2, carrying what the government said was its heaviest ever satellite, failed on Sunday, official news agency Xinhua said. The same rocket type had been expected to take China’s latest lunar probe to the Moon this year and to return with samples. It is not clear how the timetable for that mission could be affected by the failed launch. President Xi Jinping has prioritized advancing China’s space program to strengthen national security and defense, and the government has stressed it is a purely peaceful initiative. “An anomaly occurred during the flight of the rocket,” Xinhua said after the rocket blasted off early evening from the southern island province of Hainan. “Further investigation will be carried out,” it said, without elaborating.”

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