Long March 3B rocket launch destroys home as lower rocket booster crashes during launch

Although the Chinese rocket Long March 3B successfully launched two satellites into medium orbit around the Earth, the launch left a trail of destruction in its wake as the lower rocket boosters crashed into a house. Although there were no official reports — yet — the destruction was documented on Twitter in video, showing the obliterated home.

 

Engineered Design Insider Crashed booster from Long March 3B with Yellow toxic smokeOil Gas Automotive Aerospace Industry Magazine
Screengrab of video on Twitter proporting to show the crashed booster from Long March rocket. According to Twitter reports, the yellow smoke is toxic hypergolic propellant smoke.

 

Visible in the video is toxic hypergolic propellant smoke.

 

The rocket Long March 3B lifted off from Xichang Satelllite Launch Center 7:55pm Friday Nov 22. The upper stage delivered two Beidou satellites into orbit, at an altitude of 21,800 kilometres and “inclined by 55 degrees by Space-track.” [1]

 

Engineered Design Insider Long March 3B launch from Xichang Nov 22Oil Gas Automotive Aerospace Industry Magazine
Long March 3B launch from Xichang Nov 22, 2019.

 

Although hailed as the 28th successful orbital attempt for 2019, the earth-side destruction drew the most attention. The rocket has four side boosters which use a highly toxic hypergolic propellant — a combination of nitrogen tetroxide and hydrazine. Not surprisingly, so far there are no official news reports on the accident.

 

Engineered Design Insider Destroyed home from Booster of Long March 3BOil Gas Automotive Aerospace Industry Magazine
Destroyed home — aftermath of a launch of the Long March 3B rocket.

 

A previous launch destroyed a village

This is not the first accident. The first Long March 3B launch went out of control after launch, and engulfed a village in a fireball.

The Beidou satellites program are used in the Chinese GPS system, which is a national priority.

NOTES

[1] Space News

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