China says most rocket debris burned in re-entry – fr

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China says most rocket debris burned in re-entry – fr



BEIJING (AP) – China’s space agency said a central segment of its largest rocket re-entered Earth’s atmosphere over the Maldives in the Indian Ocean and most of it burned down early on Sunday.

Harvard astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell, who followed the falling rocket part, said on Twitter: “A re-entry into the ocean was always statistically the most likely. It seems that China won its bet … But it was still reckless.

China’s state-run news agency Xinhua said the re-entry took place at 7:24 p.m. local time on Saturday. “The vast majority of items were burned beyond recognition during the re-entry process,” the report said.

Despite this, NASA Administrator Senator Bill Nelson issued a statement saying, “It is clear that China is failing to meet responsible standards regarding its space debris. “

Usually, the rejected rocket stages re-enter the atmosphere shortly after take-off, normally over water, and do not go into orbit.

The Long March 5B rocket launched Tianhe’s Main Module, or Heavenly Harmony, into orbit on April 29. China is planning 10 more launches to put additional parts of the space station into orbit.

The approximately 30-meter (100-foot) long stage is said to be one of the largest space debris to fall on Earth.

The 18-ton rocket that fell last May was the largest piece of debris to fall uncontrollably from the former Soviet space station Salyut 7 in 1991.

China’s first space station, Tiangong-1, crashed in the Pacific Ocean in 2016 after Beijing confirmed it had lost control. In 2019, the space agency controlled the demolition of its second station, Tiangong-2, in the atmosphere.

In March, debris from a Falcon 9 rocket launched by the US aerospace company SpaceX fell to Earth in Washington and on the Oregon coast.

China has come under heavy criticism after it sent a missile to destroy a missing weather satellite in January 2007, creating a vast field of dangerous debris endangering satellites and other spacecraft.

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