A piece of the Chinese space rocket launched last Sunday returned uncontrollably to the atmosphere yesterday and disintegrated in the Indian Ocean.
A piece of the Chinese space rocket launched last Sunday re-entered the atmosphere uncontrollably yesterday and disintegrated in the Indian Ocean.
This was confirmed by the Chinese space agency, while US officials blamed Beijing for not sharing information on the potentially dangerous return. In a note published on the official WeChat profile, the Chinese Space Agency provided the coordinates of the impact: in the Sulu Sea, about 57 kilometers off the east coast of the island of Palawan in the Philippines.
“Most of the pieces were destroyed” during the descent, the agency explained about the rocket used last Sunday to launch the second of three modules that China needed to complete its new Tiangong space station, which is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year.
The return of the Chinese rocket into the atmosphere had been announced several hours earlier by the US military. “Space Force Command confirms that the People’s Republic of China’s Long March-5B rocket re-entered the atmosphere over the Indian Ocean on July 30” at 4:45 pm GMT, the US military official tweeted. According to NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, “All space nations should follow established best practices and do their part to share this type of information in advance to enable reliable predictions of the potential risk of debris impact, especially for vehicles of heavy transport, such as the Long March 5B, which carry a significant risk of loss of life and property “.