The Chinese government recently launched a Long March 3B carrier rocket into orbit. The launch took place earlier this week but ended up leaving destruction in its wake. The launch took place at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on 23rd November at 7:55 p.m. Eastern.
The launch took place for the sake of delivering two satellites into Earth’s medium orbit; The Beidou-3 M21 and M22 satellites. The two satellites have orbits with an average altitude of 21,800 kilometers. However, we wouldn’t call the launch a successful launch. One of the lower rocket boosters ended up getting dropped during the launch. The said lower rocket booster fell down on a person’s house.
There were no official reports of the incident, but the destruction was well-documents on Twitter. The rocket booster that was used, as explained by SpaceNews, is a ‘toxic hypergolic propellant combination of hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide.’ As of right now, it is still not clear if any of the residents were harmed because of this incident.
However, the report noted that the Chinese government has already issued a notice to the people that are living in drop zones wherein they have been instructed to evacuate during the launch. On account of the harmful chemicals that were emitting from the rockets, residents were also instructed not to approach any of the wreckage. The Chinese government, as per reports, compensates residents when such rocket launches do not go as per plans.
This is not the first time that a Long March 3B rocket has ended up causing destruction. Back in February of 1996, a Long March 3B rocket that was carrying an Intelsat satellite ended up exploding soon after its launch. It had veered off course and hit a village. The incident claimed the lives of six persons.
Another Long March 3B launch has been slated for next month, wherein another pair of Beidou satellites are scheduled to enter into the orbit.