It appears from a number of twitter-type sources coming from China that the spent first stage of the Long March 3B rocket that successfully launched two GPS-type satellites this weekend crashed onto a house, destroying it.
Video footage emerged on Chinese social media shortly after launch showing the apparent destruction of a rural building. Flames are seen within the building along with fumes from residual propellant rising from the booster wreckage.
…The first stage and four side boosters of the Long March 3B use a toxic hypergolic propellant combination of hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide.
There have so far been no state media reports on the incident. The footage and social media comments suggest the owners returned home following standard evacuation ahead of launch.
According to other such reports, the home-owners will be compensated, but this is not confirmed.
Regardless, because of China’s effort to increase its launch rate, launches coming from its inland spaceports are either going to develop controlled landing for the expendable stages or will cease. The damage both to their own citizens as well as the bad press these crashes garner are aspects that the Chinese government will want to avoid, with the bad press likely its greater concern.
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