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Chinese rocket stage breaks loose in static-fire test
Posted: Sun, Jul 7, 2024, 4:36 PM ET (2036 GMT)
A static-fire test of a new Chinese launch vehicle became very dynamic Sunday. The booster for Space Pioneer's Tianlong-3 rocket broke free of its moorings during the test and ascended. The engines shut down and the stage crashed back to Earth 50 seconds after it took off, about 1.5 kilometers from the test site, with no casualties reported. Space Pioneer was conducting its test as a buildup to an orbital launch of the Tianlong-3, a vehicle with performance similar to the Falcon 9. The company, which raised $207 million earlier in the month, said there was a structural failure in the connection between the rocket and the test bench.
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