Satellites photographed the consequences of the explosion at the Chinese cosmodrome

In October 2021, a powerful explosion occurred at the Chinese Jiuquan cosmodrome. This is evidenced by satellite photos showing the destroyed test stand.

Comparison of images of the Chinese Jiuquan cosmodrome taken before and after the explosion. Source: Airbus/CNES

Jiuquan Cosmodrome is located in the Gobi Desert. It has been operating since 1958. During its existence, Jiuquan has hosted many important orbital launches, including all manned missions under the Shenzhou program.

Apparently, in October last year, some kind of incident occurred at the cosmodrome. For the first time, space enthusiast Harry Strange drew attention to it. Looking through the images taken in October 2021 by Airbus and CNES satellites, he drew attention to a destroyed structure 16 kilometers from the main launch complex. A subsequent study of photos taken by Planet satellites showed that the explosion occurred between October 15 and 16, 2021.

Presumably, the destroyed structure is a workshop where solid fuel engines were tested. Since the launch of the Shenzhou-13 spacecraft took place from the Jiuquan Cosmodrome on October 15, it seems that the incident does not have any noticeable impact on the activities of the Chinese Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, the country’s main space contractor. Currently, it is unknown what exactly caused the explosion and whether it led to any casualties. The Chinese authorities have traditionally not published any reports about the incident.

Recall that recently the Chinese company i-Space made an unsuccessful attempt to launch a solid-fuel Hyperbola-1 rocket.

According to

Follow us on Twitter to get the most interesting space news in time