China’s March 5B rocket debris falling back on the earth’s surfaces in Indian Ocean. Although the path of these debris remains unclear.
The Long March 5B rocket took off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in Hainan on April 29.
Remnants from a massive Chinese rocket booster crashed back to Earth on Saturday over the Indian Ocean, space officials from the US and China confirmed.
It remains unclear what path the debris from the booster might take, US Space Command said on Twitter on Saturday, referring questions to the Chinese government. China’s space flight agency said wreckage of the Long March 5B hit Earth over the sea in the southwestern Philippines with the “vast majority” of the debris burning up upon re-entry, according to a brief statement that was criticised by a US official.
India says Chinese space debris fell on rural villages as rocket failed to burn up on re-entry
“The People’s Republic of China (PRC) did not share specific trajectory information as their Long March 5B rocket fell back to Earth,” Nasa Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement.
“All spacefaring nations should follow established best practices and do their part to share this type of information in advance to allow reliable predictions of potential debris impact risk, especially for heavy-lift vehicles, like the Long March 5B, which carry a significant risk of loss of life and property,” Nelson said.
Experts had deemed the possibility of injury or infrastructure damage to be low. The rocket body had been in an elliptical orbit around Earth and was “dragged toward an uncontrolled re-entry,” to Earth’s atmosphere, according to the Aerospace Corp, a non-profit corporation based in El Segundo, California, that provides technical advice for space missions and receives US funding.
Before re-entry, experts predicted that while much of the massive booster would burn up upon re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, huge chunks – as much as 40 per cent – would survive and fall to oceans or the ground. Some projections had shown a ground track that crossed parts of Mexico and Brazil, then skirted the Cape of Africa before passing over land in Southeast Asia.
This is the third uncontrolled entry by a Chinese rocket booster in as many years. In May 2021, pieces of another Long March rocket landed in the Indian Ocean, prompting concern that the Chinese space agency had lost control of it.
Experts have stressed that uncontrolled re-entries are avoidable. SpaceX rocket boosters, for example, make vertical landings and are then captured, refurbished and reused in subsequent launches.
China has dismissed Western concerns over the debris, calling it a smear effort as the US-China space race escalates.
A weekly curated round-up of social, political and economic stories from China and how they impact the world.
“The US and Western media deliberately exaggerate and exaggerate the ‘loss-of-control’ of the Chinese rocket debris and the probability of personal injury caused by the rocket debris, obviously with bad intentions,” Shanghai-based news site Guancha.cn said on Tuesday. The Long March 5B rocket took off July 24 carrying one of the heaviest payloads in recent years, a module for China’s under-construction Tiangong space station. The Chinese space station was started after the US barred Beijing from taking part in the International Space Station