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Chinese rocket test ends in explosion after unplanned liftoff

A Chinese rocket crashed Sunday after accidentally being launched during a test.

Chinese commercial company Space Pioneer conducted what was supposed to be a static-fire test of the first stage of its Tianlong-3 launch vehicle at a test facility in Gongyi country in Henan province, the Space News website reported.

In a static-fire test, the stage is securely held in place while its engines are ignited to simulate launch conditions, it said.

Amateur footage captured by local residents and shared on Chinese social media shows the nine-engine test stage igniting and taking off, climbing into the sky before halting and returning to Earth.


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