Because Chinese space projects are unusually interlinked, far more than one payload was riding on the success of the second Long March 5 mission. But it failed, with cascading effects. The timing of future missions must now be in great doubt. The unexplained failure on July 2 may mean that the heavy launcher will not be ready to loft China’s next lunar probe this year or the first module of the country’s space station next year; no other Chinese rocket is big enough for these ...

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