China’s Long March 4C rocket carrying Gaofen 10 suffers launch failure (Updated and revised)

by | Sep 1, 2016 | China, Launches, Satellites, Seradata News | 0 comments

China’s Long March 4C (CZ-4C) launch vehicle has suffered a launch failure. The three-stage rocket, which was launched at approximately 1853 GMT on 31 August 2016 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in China, was carrying the Gaofen 10 Earth observation satellite. Despite an original Chinese news black out on the event, near intact stage debris found on mountainsides in Shanxi Province down range from the launch site indicated that the launch had taken place. Sources indicate that the stages and fairings landed in their planned landing areas but that US Strategic Command had not managed to track any satellite from the launch indicating that the orbital launch attempt was a failure.

China Great Wall Industry Corp (CGWIC) the firm that markets commercial launches of the Long March 1- 4 rocket series, later admitted that a failure had occurred and that it was in a stage unique to the Long March 4C rocket i.e. the third stage. It is suspected that the Long March 4C rocket suffered a suspected restart failure of the third stage of the rocket resulting in orbital velocity not being achieved.  The third stage and Gaofen 10 spacecraft was destroyed as the assembly re-entered the Earth atmosphere.

Owned by CASIC, the China Aerospace and Industry Corporation, the Gaofen series of imaging satellites are officially civilian but are believed to have military applications.

 SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket testing explosion at Cape Canaveral destroyed AMOS-6

 Updated and revised:  8 September 2016.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to

Related Articles

Long March 4C launches Gaofen 12-03 radar sat

At 1546 GMT, 27 June, a Chinese Long March-4C (CZ-4C) rocket carried the Gaofen 12-03 (12C) satellite into low Earth Read more

Long March 4C launches Gaofan-3 03

[caption id="attachment_109624" align="alignright" width="225"] Long March 4C launches Gaofen-3 3 SAR satellite. Courtesy: CASC[/caption] At 2347 GMT on 6 April Read more

Long March 4C launches Yaogan 34-02 for China

At  0709 GMT on 17 March 2022,  a Long March 4C (CZ-4C) rocket was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Centre Read more

China makes two launches within hours – admittedly from different launch sites

China has underlined its position as leading space launch provider in terms of nationality. A Long March 4C (CZ-4C) was Read more

China launches Long March 4C out of Jiuquan carrying Ludi Tance radar sat

China successfully launched a Long March 4C (CZ-4C) launch vehicle from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre, China, at 2355 on Read more

Long March 4C launches Ziyuan 1-2E imaging satellite plus a student one

China successfully launched a Long March 4C (CZ-2D) vehicle from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre, China, at 0311 GMT on Read more

China launches Gaofen 3-02 SAR satellite

China launched a follow-on radar satellite to LEO from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on 22 November 2021. The mission Read more

Long March 4C launches Gaofen 5-02

At 0301 GMT a Long March 4C carrying the Gaofen 5-02 satellite was launched successfully from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre Read more