Chinese Space Launch Site Rocked By Massive Explosion, Satellite Images Reveal

A slew of satellite images from China’s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center reveals that an explosion significantly destroyed rocket facilities in October 2021, according to a media report.

What Happened: Based on the images, Space News reported that the evidence of the explosion was seen at Jiuquan, situated in the Gobi Desert and a host for major orbital launches, including all of the country’s Shenzhou human spaceflight missions.

The report pointed out that the high-resolution images from the spot show the facilities were possibly used to test solid rocket motors intact in October 2021. The apparent aftermath of an explosion was visible in an image from a month later.

Chinese media did not cover the explosion, and therefore the reason behind it is yet unclear.

According to the report, given the profile of previous events at Jiuquan, the report said it is likely that the structures were related to the testing and assembly of solid rockets operated by a non-CASC entity.

China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation or CASC is a state-owned main contractor for the Chinese space program.

The damaged facility is 16 km southwest of Jiuquan’s two main launch complexes, which CASC utilizes for hypergolic Long March rocket launches for human spaceflight, civil, military, and research missions.

Why It Matters: The developments come when China is pushing to develop solid rocket launch capabilities, including privately-funded launch service providers.

Photo via Sparktour on Wikimedia

Posted In: CASCChinaEurasiaNewsSPACEGlobalMediaGeneral

Ad Disclosure: The rate information is obtained by Bankrate from the listed institutions. Bankrate cannot guaranty the accuracy or availability of any rates shown above. Institutions may have different rates on their own websites than those posted on The listings that appear on this page are from companies from which this website receives compensation, which may impact how, where, and in what order products appear. This table does not include all companies or all available products.

All rates are subject to change without notice and may vary depending on location. These quotes are from banks, thrifts, and credit unions, some of whom have paid for a link to their own Web site where you can find additional information. Those with a paid link are our Advertisers. Those without a paid link are listings we obtain to improve the consumer shopping experience and are not Advertisers. To receive the rate from an Advertiser, please identify yourself as a Bankrate customer. Bank and thrift deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Credit union deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

Consumer Satisfaction: Bankrate attempts to verify the accuracy and availability of its Advertisers' terms through its quality assurance process and requires Advertisers to agree to our Terms and Conditions and to adhere to our Quality Control Program. If you believe that you have received an inaccurate quote or are otherwise not satisfied with the services provided to you by the institution you choose, please click here.

Rate collection and criteria: Click here for more information on rate collection and criteria.