Another Chinese rocket crashes towards Earth without control

3 mins read

On Saturday, a Chinese rocket crashed down to Earth over the Indian Ocean, according to NASA, which said Beijing had not provided the “precise trajectory information” required to determine where potential debris may land.

The Long March 5B-Y3 reentered over the Indian Ocean at around 12:45 p.m. EDT on Saturday (1645 GMT), according to U.S. Space Command, although it deferred inquiries to China regarding “reentry’s technical factors such as probable debris dispersal impact area.”

“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,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said. “Doing so is critical to the responsible use of space and to ensure the safety of people here on Earth.”

People in Malaysia tweeted videos of what seemed to be rocket debris on social media.

It was dangerous to permit the whole main-core stage of the Long March to reenter the atmosphere in an uncontrolled manner, according to Aerospace Corp, a government-funded nonprofit research facility close to Los Angeles. The rocket weighs 23 tons and is the most powerful ever built in China.

The People’s Liberation Army, a branch of the Communist Party in power, oversees China’s space program. Because of its military links, the United States denied China access to the International Space Station.

Analysts predicted earlier this week that the rocket body would shatter as it entered the atmosphere, but since it is so big, many pieces would probably survive a catastrophic re-entry and rain debris over an area that is around 2,000 km (1,240 miles) long by 70 km (44 miles).

The Chinese embassy in Washington declined to react right away. China stated earlier this week that it will watch the debris attentively but claimed that there was no danger to anyone on the ground.

The Long March 5B, China’s most potent rocket, launched on July 24 to carry a laboratory module to the new Chinese space station being built in orbit. This was the rocket’s third trip since its initial launch in 2020.

In 2020, pieces of a different Chinese Long March 5B fell on the Ivory Coast, destroying a number of structures there, although no casualties were reported.

He claimed that, in contrast, the United States and the majority of other space-faring countries usually incur additional costs when designing their rockets to prevent large, uncontrolled re-entries. This has become increasingly important ever since large pieces of the NASA space station Skylab crashed from orbit in 1979 and landed in Australia.

After the Beijing government remained silent on the predicted debris trajectory or the reentry window of its final Long March rocket launch in May 2021, NASA and other organizations last year accused China of being secretive.

That flight’s debris eventually made its way to the Indian Ocean.


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