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It’s not just SpaceX: 6 more crazy rocket explosions

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket “anomaly” isn’t the first time we’ve seen a rocket explosion. Be it on the launchpad or in flight, these incidents have happened before.

From China to the USA, we looked at six prominent examples of RUD involving rockets over the years.

China’s Long March explosion

One of the most controversial space incidents, a Chinese Long March rocket veered off-course during a 1996 launch, crashing into a village in the process.

The 2014 Antares explosion

Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket and Cygnus capsule exploded less than 30 seconds after launch in October 2014.

Russia’s catastrophic Proton rocket failure in 2013

The July 2013 failure of a Proton rocket a few seconds into launch was attributed to orientation sensors being installed incorrectly.

Delta 2 rocket rains down fire

The January 1997 Delta 2 rocket explosion saw fireballs raining down on the launchpad in some historic footage.

The first post-Challenger rocket launch

The first US rocket launch following the Challenger disaster was not a successful one, as the rocket’s engines prematurely cut off.

Russia’s Soyuz-U rocket explosion in 2002

A Russian soldier was killed when an unmanned Soyuz-U rocket smashed into the ground in October 2002.

Author | Hadlee Simons

Hadlee Simons
Terrible puns make Hadlee Simons difficult to work with, but he brings over seven years of tech journalism experience to the table. When he's not at work or watching motorsport, he's in the foetal position on a jiu jitsu mat. More

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