China sends ‘motivational message’ to comfort the public on Long March 5 failure

Image courtesy of CAST.

China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the main contractor for the Chinese space programme, and the manufacturer of the Long March 5, has officially released an uplifting public message in an effort to address Sunday’s launch failure.

So far, the organization has released two statements regarding the failed attempt by its largest rocket, the Long March 5, to inject its largest satellite, the Shijian-18, into orbit on 2 July 2017.

The first statement, released shortly after the event, was curt and said only that the causes of the failure would be investigated.

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Yesterday, it released another, much longer statement – one that was more philosophical than it was scientific or informative. Its message, in a nutshell, was that space exploration is fraught with risk and is an endeavour only for the fearless. Those involved in the space programme, it said, are willing to charge along despite failures because of their unfailing commitment towards the pursuit of scientific goals.

The news release described that it took Chinese scientists 10 years to develop the Long March 5, and that it is made using almost entirely new technologies. It also pointed out that during the 60-year history of the Chinese space programme, there have been many ups and downs, which have contributed to the great spirit of Chinese space exploration.

In the release, CASC reassured the public that “it is normal to feel distraught”, and that it would “overcome this latest challenge through its technical expertise and experience”.

No other information regarding the event has been released.


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