Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Chinese Rocket Crashes After Launch During Ground Test – N.F Times

During a ground test on Sunday, a commercial Chinese rocket accidentally launched, ascending into the air before crashing into a nearby mountain and bursting into flames, said the rocket manufacturing company.

Due to a “structural failure,” the Tianlong-3 rocket detached from its testing platform while undergoing propulsion system tests and lifted off from its launchpad, as stated by Space Pioneer, the rocket’s owner.

Following the launch, the onboard computer automatically shut down, and the rocket descended into a hilly region approximately one mile from the test site. The company reported no injuries as t the crash site was distant from residential areas and people were evacuated to nearby regions prior to the test.

Astrophysicist Brad Tucker from the Australian National University, who analyzed videos of the incident, indicated that the accident likely occurred during a static fire test—a standard procedure where engines are ignited as though for launch while the rocket is anchored to the ground. He mentioned that such tests are usually conducted with the rocket in a horizontal position, although some companies, including SpaceX, perform them vertically.

Tucker suggested that a series of failures must have coincided for the accident to unfold as it did, noting that while China’s national space program is advanced, its commercial space sector is relatively nascent.

This sector has seen rapid growth recently, paralleling the government’s escalating space aspirations. For the first time this year, commercial spaceflight has been recognized as an emerging industry for active development in the Chinese government’s annual work report, which sets forth the nation’s policy priorities.

Space Pioneer, also known as Beijing Tianbing Technology, is a prominent entity in this industry. The company is developing the Tianlong-3 rocket, which is currently the most potent carrier rocket under construction in China.

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