Monday, December 7, 2009

China's Long March Rockets

Long March 3 Carrier Rockets

Postmarked in 2009 with two China stamps

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A Long March rocket is any rocket in a family of expendable launch systems operated by the People's Republic of China.

Since 1990, Long March rocket entered the international market. However, several setbacks occurred during early 1990s. On January 26, 1995, a Long March 2E rocket veered off course two seconds after take-off from Xichang space center and exploded, killing at least six on the ground. On February 15, 1996, a similar failure during the launch of Intelsat 708 using a Long March 3B rocket resulted in an unknown number of casualties. The rocket veered severely off course right after clearing the launch tower and landed in a rural village. Xinhua News Agency eventually reported 57 deaths, but the extent of damage observed by foreign journalists suggested there may have been at least 200 and upwards of 500 killed.

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