China’s new heavy-lift rocket failed mid-flight

China’s likely feeling a little red in the face as its launch of a new heavy-lift rocket, the Long March-5 Y2, which was carrying its heaviest satellite, failed on Sunday.

“An anomaly occurred during the flight of the rocket,” said official news agency Xinhua, later adding that a thorough “investigation” will be carried out to identify the cause of the botched launch.

What’s worrying, however, is that China was hoping to use the same type of rocket to send a probe to the Moon later this year, and if the inquiry uncovers any major bugs, it might have to put its lunar plans on hold.

Recently, Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, increased his focus on advancing the region’s space program to peacefully strengthen national security and defense.

China still has a long way to go to catch up to pioneers like Russia and the United States.

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