Delta II rocket blows up on liftoff with a massive explosion - video

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Delta II rocket blows up on liftoff with a massive explosion - video

On January 17, 1997, a Delta II 7925 carrying the first GPS Block IIR satellite, GPS IIR-1, exploded only 13 seconds after liftoff, raining flaming debris all over Launch Complex 17 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

No one was injured, and the launchpad itself was not seriously damaged, though several cars were destroyed and a few buildings were damaged. It was later determined that a "17-foot crack" in the rocket booster had caused the failure.

The unmanned Delta II rocket was carrying a $40 million U.S. Air Force navigational satellite.

When the $55 million Delta rocket exploded, an Air Force officer announced over a loudspeaker: "Take cover immediately from falling debris. I'll say again: Take cover immediately from falling debris."

The rocket was carrying the first in a new generation of Global Positioning System satellites that can enable people to pinpoint time to within a millionth of a second, speed to a fraction of a mile per hour and location to within a few feet.
People warned to stay indoors

Residents said the blast could be felt as far away as 25 miles. There were reports that store windows 10 miles away were broken by the explosion.

The Air Force said parts of the rocket fell into a cleared safety area in the Atlantic Ocean; other fragments fell onto Air Force property, causing a small brush fire.

Air Force officials said the satellite system was a significant improvement over previous designs that required a specific launch window for each orbital position.




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By netchicken: posted on 23-4-2010








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