China’s space agency is being fired left and right for having the air populated in the nearby villages. The space agency had launched a Long March 3B rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on November 25, 2019, and the launch is expected to have created a lot of air pollution. Though the mission was a success and it has helped two satellites be flown into the orbit but the trepidation was the amount of toxic waste left behind after the launch. And the other concern was the selection of a populated area for the landing of the first stage booster of the rocket after the takeoff.
The booster’s landing in the inhabitable zone had resulted in the destruction of a building and covering the entire village in toxic smoke. The Chinese space agency could have easily prevented the space-age environmental catastrophe by wisely selecting the landing spot. The US and the other space-faring countries usually build their launch sites near coasts to avoid putting lives at risk. The idea of coastal location is that all the debris that returns to the Earth can fall directly into the deep ocean. However, according to China, from the security point of view building the launch centers inland was the right decision. The missions from those sites have always put the residents near the location at risk. China has to look for unpopulated or coastal areas to build new launch sites. However, they chose to do the opposite and have many rockets readied for launch in pursuit of space domination.
Parallelly, China had attempted to launch the American Intelsat-708 satellite in 1996 but it had ended in a tragedy. This deadly disaster is still considered to be one of the world’s worst space-related disasters. The Long March 3B rocket had blasted off from Xichang launch Centre at 3 AM local time on February 15, 1996. However, almost immediately the rocket veered barely clearing the launch tower and landed 2 Kilometers away in a residential area 22 Seconds after the launch. The China authorities stated that it was caused due to an engineering defect. Around 6 were killed and 57 injured as per the Chinese media but the Western media is adamant that hundreds may have died and the Chinese are camouflaging the incident.