Long March B failure

The Long March 3B had a larger fairing and four liquid propellant strap-ons (as used by the Long March 2E) to enable it to insert 5 tonnes into

degrees. There were a few casualties."44 In the west, this mishap was dubbed the St Valentine's Day massacre.45 Because the first stage shared technology with the Long March 2E, this failure also affected that vehicle, and withdrawing both vehicles excluded China from the commercial launch business for the foreseeable future. This time, the investigation was conducted more openly. The report, issued in September, identified the cause as a fault in the inertial

A Long March 3B topples over within seconds to be re-designed.46,47,48,49,50 The fail-of lifting off on 14 February 1996. ure was eventually traced to the deterioration of gold-aluminium wiring connections within the power amplifier for a motor in the inertial measurement unit.51 The frustration for the insurance industry was that the US ban on the export of 'dual use' technologies to China - which might improve ballistic missiles - prevented the Chinese from purchasing better guidance systems. The China Great Wall Industry Corporation lost four bookings after this debacle.52 Unfortunately for Intelsat, whose Intelsat 708 had just been lost, the contract obliged it to complete the $60 million payment.53 It withdrew Intelsat 709 from the repeatedly delayed Ariane V, and launched it on an Ariane 4 on 15 June 1996 to plug the gap in its service.

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