Rocket of the “Chinese Rocket Lab” crashed

The launch of the Chinese Ceres-1 rocket on September 21 ended in an accident. It was unable to put the cargo into orbit.

Launch of the Ceres-1 rocket. Source: Xinhua

Ceres-1 was created by Galactic Energy. Its length is 19 meters, its diameter is 1.4 meters. The rocket has a four-stage design. The first three stages are solid-fuel, the fourth is equipped with a liquid rocket engine. The rocket is capable of carrying cargo weighing up to 400 kg into low Earth orbit (LEO) and up to 300 kg of cargo into a 500-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit.

The first launch of Ceres-1 took place in 2020 and was successful. This happened just two years after the company was founded. Such a high speed of carrier development is partly due to the fact that the Chinese government has provided its aerospace startups with access to technologies used in solid-fuel ballistic missiles, in particular, allowing them to copy engines. 

Over the following years, Galactic Energy carried out eight more successful launches. Four of them took place between July and September 2023. During the last mission, the company launched Ceres-1 for the first time from an offshore platform. Due to such a high frequency of launches, Galactic Energy even began to be compared with Rocket Lab.

However, the tenth mission, during which Ceres-1 was supposed to put an Earth remote sensing satellite into orbit, brought the company a setback. In its message, Galactic Energy reported that the rocket failed to reach space. The causes of the accident, as well as the part of the flight where it occurred, are still unknown.

It is worth noting that in addition to Ceres-1, Galactic Energy is also developing its first liquid-fueled Pallas-1 rocket. It will be able to bring up to 5 tons of cargo to the LEO. At the moment, the first launch of Pallas-1 is scheduled for the end of 2024.

Recall that recently the anniversary launch of the Electron rocket ended with an accident.

According to

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