China launches land exploration satellite

CNSpaceFlight via Twitter Video shows part of Chinese Long March 3B rocket crashing near homes

CNSpaceFlight via Twitter Video shows part of Chinese Long March 3B rocket crashing near homes

No injuries or casualties have been reported from the incident.

Footage shows the booster from a Long March 3B rocket dropping from the sky and smashing into the Earth in Debao County, in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in the south of China.

A booster from a Chinese rocket appears to have crash-landed and exploded after a satellite launch on Friday.

The two satellites will provide navigation and positioning services to more remote areas of the country by the end of this year.

The satellite, which was launched from the Jiuquan Launch Center in the Gobi Desert, was carried aboard a Long March-2D rocket. As a result, American rockets fall into the ocean when they are spent, while Chinese rockets can fall on land, sometimes frightfully close to populated areas. "For some places, they'll evacuate a town or an area, and they try to calculate these drop zones quite carefully to avoid as many inhabited areas as possible". In 1996, a Long March 3B veered off course immediately as it began to lift off and crashed into a the nearby town of Xichang.

Video of the incident was caught and shared to social media.

It is thought the debris came from a rocket carrying twin satellites which had taken off from Xichang Satellite Launch Center earlier today.

As, China seems perfectly fine launching their rockets from inland launchpads, unlike the US, meaning the rockets fly over and shed parts over land, leading to incidents like that on Friday. For the time being, it looks like China will need to continue launching over land to keep up its aggressive expansion in space capabilities.