A Chinese oceanography satellite designed to measure wave height and winds launched Monday aboard a Long March 4B rocket equipped with grid fins to help control the first stage’s descent back to Earth, an improvement aimed at keeping falling boosters away from Chinese villages.
The first flight of the new Chinese Kuaizhou 11 solid-fueled rocket failed to place two small satellites into orbit Friday, and Chinese state media said the cause of the malfunction is under investigation.
China launched a Long March 2D rocket Saturday with a satellite Chinese officials claimed will study the space environment and conduct technology demonstrations, less than two days after a Long March 4B rocket took off from a different launch site with an Earth-imaging payload.
Two launches of Chinese rockets Friday and Sunday successfully placed Earth-imaging and technology demonstration satellites into orbit. The two missions, which took off from different spaceports, flew board Long March 11 and Long March 2D rockets.