This spectacular footage shows a Chinese rocket releasing huge plumes of water vapour as it blasts off into the sky carrying a new satellite before the craft fails and burns up over the Pacific Ocean.
Chinese orbital carrier rocket Long March 3B failed during its third stage, with Indonesia’s next-generation satellite Palapa N1 understood to have been lost, Chinese state media reported.
The 185-foot multistage rocket was launched with the 5.5-tonne payload from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in south-western China’s Sichuan Province at 7:46pm Beijing time yesterday (9th April).
Video Credit: AsiaWire
Villagers nearby captured the moment the three-stage rocket roared into the sky, destined for geostationary orbit above the equator.
However, following normal operations in stages one and two, the rocket exploded into a fireball as separation failure happened during its third and final stage.
Fiery debris was captured above the night sky over the western Pacific island of Guam, which belongs to the United States.
Palapa N1, also known as Nusantara Dua, was a broadcast and communications satellite built by the China Academy of Space Technology for a joint venture between Indonesia’s Indosat and Pasifik Satelit Nusantara.
Chinese state media said an investigation into the apparent malfunction was ongoing.
On 16th March, a Long March 7A rocket also suffered launch failure while carrying a classified satellite from Wenchang Satellite Launch Center in China’s southermost island province of Hainan.
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