Chinese rocket test ends in explosion after unplanned liftoff

  01 July 2024    Read: 740
Chinese rocket test ends in explosion after unplanned liftoff

A Chinese rocket crashed Sunday after accidentally being launched during a test.

Chinese commercial company Space Pioneer conducted what was supposed to be a static-fire test of the first stage of its Tianlong-3 launch vehicle at a test facility in Gongyi country in Henan province, the Space News website reported.

In a static-fire test, the stage is securely held in place while its engines are ignited to simulate launch conditions, it said.

Amateur footage captured by local residents and shared on Chinese social media shows the nine-engine test stage igniting and taking off, climbing into the sky before halting and returning to Earth.

The stage, which still contained a significant amount of kerosene-liquid oxygen propellant, impacted the ground approximately 50 seconds after takeoff, resulting in a huge explosion.

The Tianlong-3 first stage was designed to burn for several minutes during an actual orbital flight, but the test’s failure has raised concerns about future launches.

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