Rocket escapes launch pad, soars through the skies and explodes after crashing

A rocket has escaped a launch pad during a static fire test, taking to the skies and eventually crash landing and causing a fiery explosion.

1 minute & 19 seconds read time

Reusable rockets aren't easy to design, which is why they didn't exist until Elon Musk's SpaceX came along and sunk hundreds of millions of dollars into research and development of the technology. Now, SpaceX is pioneering the reusable rocket industry, achieving reusability with two now-workhorse rockets, the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy.

Now that the crown jewel of rocket technology has been shown to the rest of the world other space agencies are looking to figure it out for themselves, with China being one of those nations. Private Chinese company Space Pioneer is working on this technology, and recently attempted a static fire test, which is an engineering test that evaluates the design of the engine by firing thrusters while the rocket is attached to the launch pad.

Static fire tests are one of the many ways engineers make sure a rocket is working as intended before a real launch attempt is made. Space Pioneer's Tianlong-3 rocket was undergoing this test when it broke free from the launchpad, and with its nine TH-12 engines that together generate 1.7 million pounds of thrust, the Tianlong-3 rocket burst into the clouds only to run out of the little fuel it had stored. With no engines firing, the rocket began falling back to the ground, causing a huge fiery explosion on impact.

Notably, the engines use rocket-grade kerosene as their fuel source. According to Space Pioneer, the rocket hit 820 tons of thrust during its test and a structural failing on the launchpad was the result of it getting loose. Most importantly, the company said no one was injured as a result of the rocket.

This situation reminds me of when Tony Stark is in front of the government for his Iron Man suit and then he shows officials where the competition is at in terms of development. However, Tony Stark is Elon Musk in this scenario, and the Iron Man suit is reusable rocket systems.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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