A Chinese privately built rocket and its satellite cargo has been confirmed lost. The launch took place on October 27th and at first all seemed well as the Zhuque-1 rocket lifted off from the Jiuquan Launch Centre in North-west China at 4pm local time.
The rocket was carrying was a small satellite (Weila-1/”Future”) for China’s CCTV state broadcaster which had been intended for use by a remote sensing science TV series for the broadcaster.
The private rocket company is one of the first in China, and designed to launch small to medium-sized satellites.
Local reports say the rocket’s third stage failed to operate correctly. Previous reports say that the Zhuque range of (planned) rockets would complete with SpaceX and the Jeff Bezos-backed Blue Origin for contracts in the small satellite sector.