We now have decades of experience launching rockets, but it's still a tricky science to get one into space. A Russian Proton-M launch vehicle suffered a catastrophic failure this weekend seconds after takeoff and slammed into the ground, causing a huge explosion. And it could have been much worse.
The rocket was carrying three satellites that were going to be shot into orbit. The prep for the launch was uneventful as was the beginning of the launch itself.
But then things start going wrong.
The rocket veers off course just seconds into the launch, swinging back and forth before starting a horizontal trajectory. Thankfully, it breaks apart and then falls to the ground, where the fuel ignites in a huge explosion.
Nobody was killed, and falling to the ground also kept people in the nearby town safe from death by rocket.
Although, from what we've seen in the past, explosions from things like rockets or gigantic meteors don't bother people in Russia at all.
(Hat Tip to Knightley!)