Home destroyed by Long March 3B 1st stage

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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.



  • wodun

    Is this a first?

    I don’t think the Chinese really care about bad press. It would also be easy to turn it into good press.

  • Col Beausabre

    The Chinese will spin it as this is the reason they need to own the South China Sea and build those artificial islands

  • Cotour

    Related: How the Chinese operate in regards to legal issues, deaths and compensation.


    7/25/11: “Following the accident, government officials and sources assured that officials moved quickly to take charge of the situation. President Hu Jintao declared Sunday morning that rescue efforts were a top priority and the government also announced that three senior officials in the Railway Ministry had been fired.

    However, competing narratives and video clips then emerged, reporting that the ministry was burying parts of the train wreckage near the site. Videos show at least two bodies falling out of the carriages as they are handled.”

    No Constitution, no Rights, Capital “R” or otherwise, to ANYTHING in China, just the Right to die. And thats only because the government has not yet figured out how to control that.

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