Satellite Images Reveal Huge Explosion and Destruction at China’s Rocket Test Site
New satellite images shared on social media show evidence of a massive explosion at a Chinese rocket launch site. The explosion of the Chinese rocket took place between October and November at China’s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, the images show.
Satellite images suggest a Chinese rocket explosion took place in October 2021
The images show what appears to be a rocket test site. The site itself is located a good distance from the actual launch pad. About 10 miles away, to be exact. The site was most likely used as an assembly and test facility before the rockets were moved to the launch pad. So far, no state media has reported on the explosion of a Chinese rocket.
Space enthusiast Harry Stranger shared the footage on Twitter in early June. Stranger noticed the aftermath of the explosion in commercial satellite images captured by Airbus and CNES. According SpaceNewsChinese state media has yet to report on the explosion.
The good news is that the Chinese rocket explosion does not appear to have involved a crewed launch. SpaceNews notes that the site where the explosion took place may have been used to test solid rocket motors. After further investigation SpaceNews also reports that the explosion took place between 0316 UTC October 15 and 0407 UTC October 16, 2021.
Based on the fact that no reports were made by state media, it is likely that the explosion of the Chinese rocket had nothing to do with high-profile launches. CASIC, a state-owned defense contractor, is developing new solid rockets for orbital launches. So far, these launches have ended in failure. China may have used the site to test these rocket engines.
Ultimately, however, this does not appear to have affected China’s ongoing space missions. Missions like the possible development of an asteroid surveillance and defense system. With so many dangerous entities floating around the cosmos, it is a noble endeavor that many countries are striving towards.
The Chinese rocket explosion is still an intriguing mystery. If this were tied to China’s continued solid rocket efforts, it could set those efforts back even further than they already are. Or it could be completely independent. Unfortunately, until we know more about the site itself, it will be difficult to find out exactly what exploded in October 2021.
What we do know is that China has already started facility cleaningas seen in other images shared by Harry Stranger on Twitter.