Following the success of programs such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX, we have probably been treated to more rocket launches (that we could watch live) in the last couple of years than we’ve seen in the prior 20. Yes, it seems that rockets are back in fashion. Great news for those of us who have an interest in space and technology. It’s all amazing stuff to watch!
The recent launch of the French Arianespace rocket, however, has not gone entirely to plan. Why? Well, following a malfunction, it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. Something that was clearly not part of the script. Oh, and incidentally, it took a highly expensive military satellite with it.
In the launch (which you can watch in full above) the initial ‘blast-off’ went apparently well. In fact, everything did until the 2nd-stage kicked in and like the vast majority of my Kerbal Space Program attempts, everything went down (literally) from there. If you want to skip a lot of the bloat, the rocket takes off just before the 24-minute mark and starts going wrong about 2 minutes in.
Now, if you’re looking for Michael Bay levels of explosions, you’re in the wrong place. When it became clear that things were not going according to plan the stream shifted focus away from the details.
While the details are still unclear, as you can see in the image above (in the top right corner) the rocket starting veering rather significantly away from it’s planned course. It is believed that something went wrong with the telemetry system. Specifically, when the 2nd-stage separation occurred.
Considering that this was carrying a military satellite, however, the resultant crash has clearly cost some people a lot of money. Thankfully, at least no one was on board.
What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!
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