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China’s SpaceX Falcon 9 Inspired Rocket Escapes From Test Pad & Flies Away

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A Chinese rocket being developed by a private company escaped from the launch pad during a static fire attempt and crashed some distance away from the test site. The rocket, Tianlong-3, uses nine kerosene powered engines and is designed to land vertically, similar to SpaceX's Falcon 9. This latest test comes soon after footage from China showed an operational rocket crashing on Earth after successfully launching a satellite. Tianlong-3's manufacturer, Space Pioneer, assured the press in a release that no casualties were reported from the test.

China's Tianlong-3 Test Rocket Escapes From Test Pad & Flies Briefly Before Crashing

Mishaps on a static fire test stand aren't uncommon. A recent one involving SpaceX saw a Raptor engine for the Starship rocket explode during such a test. While some static fires test the entire rocket, others, like the one for the Raptor engine, use an isolated engine. These engine tests depend on engineers' objectives, as the one involving the rocket tests the vehicle's plumbing and other systems, while those of the engines evaluate only the engine's design.

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Since the Tianlong-3 is in its late development stages and was expected to fly later this year, Space Pioneer was testing the rocket at its pad. Footage from social media platforms shows that while the test appeared to be successful, disaster struck as the rocket came loose from its test stand. Engineers tested the engines with limited fuel, and while the rocket managed to fly after it came loose, it soon crashed into Earth as its fuel appeared to run out.

The Tianlong-3 uses nine TH-12 rocket engines to generate 1.7 million pounds of thrust. Its engines use rocket grade kerosene as their fuel. SpaceX's Falcon 9 also used nine engines. The latest Falcon 9 engines are

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