Details have emerged on a failed rocket launch that destroyed China’s secret spy satellite in a disaster that resonates with the SpaceX explosion a few days ago.
The rocket, which was launched from Shanxi on Thursday last week, failed to thrust its cargo into orbit. The Gaofen-10 satellite was blasted from aboard China’s Long March 4C rocket but failed to get into orbit following an “undisclosed” failure that the Chinese government is trying very hard to slide under the rug.
Social media reports suggest that the resultant debris were scattered all across the Shanxi province.
South China Morning Post stated that the Gaofen-10 satellite constituted a part of a network aimed at providing “24-hour intelligence gathering capabilities for military and civilian users by 2020”. But it was also equally equipped for spying in any corner of the planet.
The satellite had taken off with a great start from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center but minutes later, it plummeted back to the Earth due to alleged faults with the rocket’s boosters in the third stage.
Images of the disaster were shared on Chinese social platform Weibo but were later taken down by authorities. The absence of media coverage of the incident, therefore, led experts to believe that the government was trying its best to cover the whole thing up.
One Weibo user, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, wrote on Weibo: “An American satellite blows up and it gets reported on without restraint.”