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Launch fails for Chinese heavy-lift carrier rocket

A Chinese rocket launch failed on Sunday evening due to abnormality during the flight following what appeared to be a successful liftoff, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Experts will investigate the cause of the glitch for the launch of the Long March-5 Y2, China's second heavy-lift carrier rocket, from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in the southern province of Hainan, Xinhua said.

Video from the live broadcast showed the rocket lifting off and shooting into the sky, with a voice-over indicating everything was going well. It was not clear from the live broadcast whether anything had gone wrong. It also was not clear whether the rocket, which was carrying a communication satellite, had entered its orbit.

Several launches of the Long March-5 were scheduled in preparation for China's lunar probe, manned space station and Mars probe missions, according to Xinhua. Sunday's launch was to be the last drill before the rocket was to carry a lunar probe later this year. It was not immediately clear how Sunday's failure will affect planned missions.