Chinese Long March 3B Launch Leaves Destruction in its Wake

The rocket booster from the Long March 3B smashed into a home.
Donna Fuscaldo
The photo credit line may appear like this3DSculptor/iStock

The Chinese government launched a Long March 3B carrier rocket into orbit earlier this week, leaving destruction in its wake. 

The launch from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on 23 November at 7:55 p.m. Eastern, delivered two satellites into Earth's medium orbit, reported SpaceNews. The Beidou-3 M21 and M22 satellites have orbits with an altitude that is 21,800 kilometers on average. 


Lower rocket crashes into home 

But to call it a success wouldn't be fair. One of the lower rocket boosters dropped during the launch landing on a person's house. Without any official reports about the accident, the destruction was documented as expected on Twitter.

The rocket booster used what SpaceNews reported is a "toxic hypergolic propellant combination of hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide."

This isn't the first time 

It's not clear if the residents of the home were harmed but the report noted that the Chinese government issued a notice to people living in drop zones calling on them to evacuate during the launch. Because of the harmful chemicals emitting from the rockets, residents were also told not to go near any wreckage.  The Chinese government reportedly compensates residents when rocket launches don't go as planned.

This isn't the first time a Long March 3B rocket caused destruction. In February of 1996, a Long March 3B rocket carrying an Intelsat satellite exploded shortly after launching, veering off course and hitting a village, killing six people. 

SpaceNews noted another Long March 3B launch, which will send another pair of Beidou satellites into orbit is slated for next month. 


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