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Footage shows launch failure of China’s rocket 20 years ago

A recent video, which emerged online, shows footage of the rocket launch disaster from 20 years ago in China.

February 14, 1996, is an unforgettable date for Chinese space scientists and engineers, as well as Chinese space enthusiasts. That day, China’s largest launch vehicle ever built that time, the Long March 3B (CZ-3B), made its maiden flight carrying an Intelsat 708 communication satellite. At 3:01 a.m. Beijing time, the CZ-3B was ignited and then slowly lifted off from Pad 2 in Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwestern China. During the first two seconds, everything seemed to go well. But to everyone’s surprise, before the rocket had even cleared the umbilical tower, it veered off and then started to fly horizontally. Twenty-two seconds later, it crashed and exploded.

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