China Faces Setback in 2023 as Rocket Ceres-1 Fails to Launch, Losing Gaofen-04B Satellite
In a rare setback for China’s space program in 2023, the Ceres-1 rocket failed to deliver the Gaofen-04B satellite to orbit. This marks the first unsuccessful launch for China this year, following a string of dozens of successful missions.
The Ceres-1 rocket, standing nearly 20 meters tall and featuring four solid rocket stages, is developed by Galactic Energy. Earlier this month, it had successfully completed its ninth mission, launching three satellites into space.
However, the tenth mission did not go as planned. The Ceres-1 rocket took off from the Gobi Desert spaceport but encountered an anomaly in one of its upper-stage engines, leading to the mission’s failure. The first stage of the rocket had performed as expected. Galactic Energy announced the cause of the mishap a few hours after the launch.
The primary objective of the Ceres-1 mission was to place the Gaofen-04B satellite into orbit. This satellite was intended to join the Jilin-1 constellation, which is the world’s largest remote sensing satellite system, comprising 108 spacecraft. China had plans to expand this constellation by adding an additional 30 satellites by the end of 2023.
While this setback is a departure from China’s otherwise successful year in space, it highlights the inherent challenges and risks associated with space exploration and rocket launches. China is likely to investigate the incident and take measures to ensure the success of future missions.
- I'm Vasyl Kolomiiets, a seasoned tech journalist regularly contributing to global publications. Having a profound background in information technologies, I seamlessly blended my technical expertise with my passion for writing, venturing into technology journalism. I've covered a wide range of topics including cutting-edge developments and their impacts on society, contributing to leading tech platforms.
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