Chinese Rocket Crashes Following Accidental Take-Off

Chinese Rocket Crashes Following Accidental Take-Off

( – A Chinese rocket launched unexpectedly while its engines were undergoing testing and crashed into a nearby mountain. The incident happened near the city of Gongyi in the Henan Province, and state media said nobody was killed or injured. The Tianlong-3 rocket, owned by the private Chinese company Space Pioneer, was undergoing routine engine testing when launch moorings that kept the vessel in place malfunctioned. It experienced a “structural failure,” and the craft surprisingly took off. It soon fell back to earth and crashed around 1.5 miles away.

Video footage of the incident surfaced online, showing the rocket exploding in flames as it hit the ground close to what appeared to be a residential area. It follows a similar incident last December when a Long March 3B smashed into the ground in close proximity to heavily inhabited sites. The rocket carried two satellites toward China’s Beidou Navigation Satellite System, the country’s equivalent of America’s GPS network.

Space Pioneer is one of China’s leading aircraft manufacturers and specializes in liquid-propellant vessels. The rocket involved in the recent Gongyi incident was reportedly a large liquid carrier rocket intended to help construct the communist country’s satellite network. It’s been reported that Space Pioneer has been trying to create a craft that will rival SpaceX’s Falcon 9, a reusable rocket that carries cargo and crew and was launched by SpaceX in 2010.

Founded by Twitter owner Elon Musk in 2002, SpaceX is a private US-based spacecraft manufacturer headquartered in California. The company reached a milestone in 2020 when it launched astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken into orbit, becoming the first private company ever to do so.

In April, SpaceX broke another record and used a Falcon 9 booster for the 20th time. Booster 1062 took its first flight in November 2020 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, and in 2024, people tuned in online to watch its 20th expedition. It landed upright on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean around eight minutes after takeoff.

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