The Chinese booster rocket returns uncontrolled to Earth

The Chinese booster rocket returns uncontrolled to Earth

The Chinese booster rocket returns uncontrolled to Earth

A Chinese booster rocket returned uncontrolled to Earth on Saturday, leading US officials to berate Beijing for not sharing information about the potentially dangerous object’s descent.

The US Space Command “can confirm that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Long March 5B (CZ-5B) re-entered the Indian Ocean at about 10:45 am MDT on 7/30,” the US military unit said. on Twitter.

“We refer you to the #RPC for further details on the technical aspects of the reentry, such as the potential dispersal of debris + the location of the impact,” he said.

In a statement posted on its official WeChat profile, the Chinese Manned Space Agency subsequently provided coordinates for an impact area in the Sulu Sea, approximately 35 miles (57 kilometers) off the east coast of the island of Palawan in the Philippines.

“Most of its devices were removed and destroyed during the reentry,” said the agency of the booster rocket, which was used last Sunday to launch the second of three modules needed by China to complete its new space station. Tiangong.

The Malaysian space agency said it detected rocket debris that burned on reentry before falling into the Sulu Sea on the northeast of the island of Borneo.

“The rocket debris caught fire as it entered Earth’s airspace and the movement of the burning debris also passed through Malaysian airspace and could be detected in several areas, including airspace crossing around Sarawak state,” he has declared.

– Criticism of NASA –

NASA administrator Bill Nelson criticized Beijing on Twitter, saying the failure to share the details of the rocket’s descent was irresponsible and risky.

“All nations traveling to space should follow established best practices and do their part to share this type of information in advance,” wrote Nelson, “to enable reliable predictions on the potential risk of debris impact, especially for vehicles. heavy vehicles, such as Long March 5B, which pose a significant risk of loss of life and property. “

He added: “Doing so is critical for the responsible use of space and for ensuring the safety of people here on Earth.”

The Tiangong Space Station is one of the crown jewels of Beijing’s ambitious space program, which landed robotic rovers on Mars and the Moon and made China only the third nation to put humans into orbit.

The new module, operated by the Long March 5B, successfully docked at Tiangong’s central module on Monday, and the three astronauts who had lived in the main compartment since June successfully entered the new laboratory.

When China launched its first Tiangong module in April 2021, there was a similar frenzy around the possibility of damage from an unpredictable booster re-entry.

Objects generate immense amounts of heat and friction when they enter the atmosphere, which can cause them to burn and disintegrate. But larger ones like the Long March-5B may not be completely destroyed.

In 2020, debris from another Chinese rocket hit villages in the Ivory Coast, causing structural damage but without injuries or deaths.

China has invested billions of dollars in space flight and exploration as it seeks to build a program that reflects its stature as a rising global power.

md / des / mtp

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