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US: Wreckage of Chinese rocket lands in Indian Ocean

The remnants of a powerful Chinese rocket that delivered a new module to the space station on Monday reentered the atmosphere uncontrollably on Saturday and disintegrated in the Indian Ocean, the US Space Command (SPACECOM) said. It was not stated whether the rocket fragments caused any damage.

“Space Command confirms that a People’s Republic of China’s Long March-5B rocket re-entered the atmosphere over the Indian Ocean on July 30 at 16:45 GMT,” the US military wrote on Twitter.

The Americans turned to Chinese officials for details on the dispersion of the rocket’s parts and the exact location of their fall, which was launched on July 24 as the second of three modules from its Tiangong space station.

“substantial risk”

The Long March-5B rocket was not designed to control the launch of the rocket, which, like previous launches, met with international criticism.

“China has not provided accurate information on the trajectory of its Long March-5B rocket,” NASA President Bill Nelson said Saturday, adding that “all space-faring nations must follow best practices because there is a fatal or substantial risk of falling objects of this magnitude.” property”.

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The process of entering the atmosphere creates tremendous heat and friction, and experts explain that smaller objects may burn up and disintegrate, but larger objects like Long March-5B may not be completely destroyed. Their remains can then fall to the ground and cause damage and even casualties.

In 2020, parts of another Chinese Long March rocket hit villages in Côte d’Ivoire, causing damage but no human harm.

A 23-ton Long March 5B rocket carrying the Wendyan lab module took off from Hainan Island in the South China Sea on Sunday, and the module arrived at a Chinese space station the next day. After completing the mission, the rocket began its uncontrolled descent towards Earth.

This is the third time China has been accused of mishandling space debris.

By / PAP

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