Beijing hit with whitewash accusations after mysterious disappearance of surveillance spacecraft
China has been accused of covering up its own SpaceX-style satellite disaster after a spy spacecraft mysteriously disappeared.
The “Gaofen 10” satellite blasted into space aboard a 4C rocket last week on a top secret surveillance mission.
But it never reached orbit and reportedly crashed to Earth after suffering an undisclosed “failure”.
Cops posted pictures of the search for the wreckage of the satellite on the social network Weibo but these images were later taken down, The South China Morning Post reported.
A Chinese Long March-3C carrier rocket
A website called also aihangtian.com reported the disaster, but it was later claimed the page had gone offline. It is unclear whether this is the result of government censorship.
The satellite is said to have reached the edge of space aboard a Chinese rocket before suffering some sort of problem and then burning up in Earth’s atmosphere.
On the website SpaceFlight 101, one expert wrote: “There was complete silence by official news outlets [after the launch] for over 16 hours until photos were published accompanied by a short note identifying the satellite and specifying the launch time. U.S. Space Surveillance did not detect any new objects in orbit, confirming that Long March 4C encountered the world’s first launch failure of 2016.”
Chinese people have taken to Weibo to share their censorship claims, which have been stoked by Beijing’s failure to share the true fate of the Gaofen 10.
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“An American satellite blows up and it gets reported on without restraint,” an unnamed person wrote on Weibo, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“Can the news media show some professionalism, or can the propaganda departments be more frank?” another Weibo added.
“We can accept success and withstand failure. The Chinese people’s psychological endurance isn’t as fragile as you think.”
from Department of Private Space Inc.