Explosion at Chinese Space Launch Center Revealed by Satellite Imagery

OverTheTop

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"HELSINKI — An explosion severely damaged rocket facilities at China’s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in October 2021, commercial satellite imagery shows.

Jiuquan spaceport is situated in the Gobi Desert and hosts major orbital launches including all of the country’s Shenzhou human spaceflight missions. Established in 1958 it is the first of China’s four national spaceports to be constructed.

Evidence of the explosion was discovered by space enthusiast Harry Stranger using imagery from Airbus and CNES and posted on Twitter June 10.

The incident occurred at facilities constructed around 16 kilometers to the southwest of Jiuquan’s two main launch complexes. The pair of launch pads are used by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) for hypergolic Long March rocket launches for human spaceflight, civil, military and scientific missions and were unaffected by the blast.

The high resolution images show the facilities, which were possibly used for testing solid rocket motors, intact in October 2021. The apparent aftermath of an explosion is visible in an image from November 2021."
 

Sandy H.

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I see the exploded bits, but what's up with the shadow of a rocket/giant vertical airplane shape 'on the pad'?

Sandy.
 

tsmith1315

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Yeah, I looked back and forth several times before posting. The image scales are confusing, but the pieces are there in both views and the shadow fits.
 
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