The Xinhua report said the rocket was launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, but failed due to malfunction during the flight — the cause of which is under investigation.
Kuaizhou, meaning “fast ship” in Chinese, was operated by the commercial launch firm Expace, and was originally scheduled for 2018 after being developed three years earlier.
Also known as KZ-11, it had a lift-off mass of 70.8 tonnes, and was designed to launch low-Earth and Sun-synchronous orbit satellites, as per CGTN.
It was carrying two satellites — the first being a remote sensing satellite that would provide data to clients on a commercial basis for forecasting and managing geological disasters. It would also provide information required for natural resource exploration. The second was part of a series of satellites for low-Earth orbit navigation.
Both satellites were built by Changguang Satellite Co. Ltd., a commercial entity born out of the state-owned Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, as per nasaspaceflight.com.