Tiangong Launch Delayed Due to CZ-2C Failure

September 1, 2011
Gregory Kulacki
China Project Manager

Despite earlier reports to the contrary by Chinese “experts”, the launch of Tiangong I has been delayed pending a full review of the cause of the failure of the Long March-2C (CZ-2C) launch vehicle earlier this month.

According to a spokesperson from China’s Manned Space Engineering Office, the CZ-2C launch vehicle that failed during flight on August 18 and the CZ-2F launcher that will be used to launch the Tiangong I “are of the same rocket series” and “the investigation into the failure is currently underway.”

The spokesperson added that it is “unclear” if cause of the CZ-2C failure could impact the CZ-2F.

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Gregory Kulacki is an expert on cross-cultural communication between the United States and China. Since joining UCS in 2002, he has promoted dialogue between experts from both countries on nuclear arms control and space security.