Part of a Chinese space rocket launched last Sunday reentered the atmosphere uncontrollably on Saturday and disintegrated in the Indian Ocean, the US military said, without specifying whether the debris caused any damage.
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At 4:45 p.m.GMT, the military tweeted that the Space Command confirmed that the People’s Republic of China’s Long March-5B rocket had re-entered the atmosphere over the Indian Ocean. American.
For any details on the debris’ dispersion and exact location of impact, the U.S. military invites you to consult Chinese officials, who launched the second of three modules of their Tiangong space station on July 24. It will be fully operational by the end of the year.
The Long March-5B rocket was not designed to control its descent from orbit, drawing criticism like previous launches.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) President Bill Nelson tweeted on Saturday that China has not provided accurate information about the trajectory of its Long March-5B rocket.
“All countries conducting space activities must have best practices in place,” as objects of this size “present significant risks of loss of life or property,” he added.
Re-entry into the atmosphere releases immense heat and causes friction. Sections may then burn and disintegrate, but larger craft such as the Long March-5B may not be completely destroyed.
Their debris can then land on Earth’s surface, causing damage and causing casualties, although this risk is low given that the planet is 70% covered in water.
In 2020, debris from another Long March rocket fell on villages in Côte d’Ivoire, causing damage but no injuries.
The Asian giant has been investing billions of euros in its space program for decades.
China sent its first astronaut into space in 2003. In early 2019, it landed a spacecraft on the far side of the Moon, a world first. In 2021, he landed a small robot on Mars and plans to send humans to the moon in 2030.