Chinese Kuaizhou-1A rocket fails after launch, 2 satellites lost

A Kuaizhou-1A solid rocket by Chinese commercial company Expace failed to make it to orbit Tuesday (Dec. 14), taking two commercial satellites with it during its demise.

The rocket launched from the China National Space Administration‘s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert at 9 p.m. EST (0200 GMT or 10 a.m. local time Wednesday, Dec. 15), according to a SpaceNews report, which cited airspace closure notices in pinpointing the launch time. On board the rocket were two satellites for Geespace, which were expected to test autonomous driving navigation assistance.