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The World : Europe Rocket Blown Up

Officials at France’s Space Center in French Guiana said they blew up the European Space Agency’s Ariane rocket less than 10 minutes after liftoff when it veered off course and began falling, threatening inhabited areas. The order to destroy was given immediately after the rocket, carrying two communications satellites, left its prescribed trajectory. French President Francois Mitterrand, en route to French Polynesia, watched the failed launch of the rocket, built to compete with the American space shuttle in the satellite launching business.


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