Chinese rocket engine test fails, no casualties reported

2024-07-01 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Chinese commercial company Space Pioneer announced on Sunday that no casualties were reported after a test of the first stage engines of the Tianlong-3 rocket failed in Henan province.

Tianlong-3, a two-stage kerosene-liquid oxygen rocket comparable to SpaceX's Falcon 9, experienced the failure during a test of its nine engines intended to power the first stage. The engines, which are planned to be reusable in the future, were tested in Gongyi city, according to Beijing Tianbing Technology Co, also known as Space Pioneer.

At 3:43 pm, the engines were fired according to plan, and the engine thrust reached 820 tons. However, a structural failure caused the rocket to detach from its launch pad and blast off. It subsequently landed in a mountainous area about 1.5 kilometers away and broke apart.

All villagers in the area, which is remote and far from the city center, had been evacuated before the test. An initial investigation reported no casualties, the company said in a statement.

Space Pioneer described the test as the most challenging on the propulsion system during the development of China's current carrier rockets, with the engine thrust doubling that of previous aerospace tests. The company added that it will investigate the causes of the failure.


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