Rocket, Satellite Explode In China
A rocket carrying a U.S.-made satellite exploded after launch today, dealing another blow to China’s commercial satellite-launching industry.
Live television showed the Long March-2 rocket lift off at 6:38 a.m. (2:38 p.m. PST Wednesday) from the Xichang Satellite Launching Center in the southwest province of Sichuan.
But less than two minutes after clearing the launch pad, the satellite and rocket exploded into bright red flames, illuminated against the dark sky.
A few minutes later, a reporter appeared and said, “As everyone has just seen from the screen, our launch of the Apstar-2 satellite for the APT Satellite Co. was not successful because of an accident.”
The Apstar-2 satellite was made by the Hughes Corp. It was to provide television, telephone and digital telecommunications for Asia, Eastern Europe, Northern Africa and Australia.