The Chinese Space Agency confirmed on Sunday (31) that part of the Chinese space rocket launched last Sunday (24) uncontrollably re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere on Saturday (30) and disintegrated over the Indian Ocean, and US officials accused Beijing of not doing so . Share her information about this potentially dangerous ratio.
In a statement posted on its official WeChat profile, the Chinese space agency provided the coordinates of the collision: in the Sulu Sea, about 57 kilometers off the east coast of the island of Palawan in the Philippines.
“Most of its hardware was destroyed” during the landing, the agency said, of the rocket, which was used to launch the second of three modules China needs to complete its new Tiangong space station, which is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year. ..
The US military had announced several hours ago that the Chinese missile had returned to the atmosphere.
“Space Force Command confirms that the People’s Republic of China’s Long March-5B missile re-entered the atmosphere over the Indian Ocean on July 30,” the US military wrote on Twitter.
The Malaysian Space Agency, for its part, said it had spotted the wreckage of the burning rocket before it fell into the Sulu Sea, northeast of Borneo Island.
“The missile debris caught fire as it entered the ground airspace, and burning debris passed through Malaysian airspace and could be detected in several areas, including crossing the airspace around Sarawak,” he said.
China’s Long March-5B rocket is not designed to control its descent from orbit, which, like previous launches, has drawn criticism.
NASA Chief Bill Nelson said on Twitter Saturday that China “has not provided accurate information about the trajectory of its Long March-5B rocket.”
He added that “all countries that conduct space activities must adhere to best practices” because the fall of objects of this size “represents great risks to cause human and material losses,” stressing that the exchange of information is “necessary” for “responsible use.” space and keeping people safe on Earth.”
Entry into the atmosphere releases tremendous heat and friction, causing parts to burn and disintegrate. But larger ships, such as the Long March-5B, may not be completely destroyed. Its debris can land on Earth’s surface and cause damage and casualties, although this risk is low, with the planet covered by 70% water.
In 2020, the wreckage of another Long March missile crashed into villages in Ivory Coast, causing damage but no casualties. The Asian giant has invested billions of dollars for several decades in its space program. One of the “treasures” of this program is the Tiangong Space Station.
China sent its first astronaut into space in 2003. In early 2019, it landed a device on the far side of the moon, the first of its kind in the world. In 2021, it has landed a small robot on Mars and plans to send men to the Moon by 2030.
With information from Agence France-Presse
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