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China: Debris from Long March-5B rocket falls back to Earth, falls into sea

China: Debris from Long March-5B rocket falls back to Earth, falls into sea
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China says its most powerful rocket has returned to Earth, as NASA criticized Beijing for failing to share key information about its trajectory.

The Long March 5B rocket, weighing more than 1.8 million pounds, blasted off from the Wenchang Spaceport on July 24 — carrying another module aboard China’s first permanent space station, Tiangong, which is under construction.

The “vast majority” of the rocket’s debris burned up during re-entry into the atmosphere at around 12:55 p.m., the China Human Space Agency said in a statement on its official Weibo social media account on Sunday.

The rest “landed in the ocean” at 119.0 degrees east and 9.1 degrees north, it said. These coordinates are in waters off the Philippine island of Palawan, southeast of the city of Puerto Princesa. China’s statement did not say whether any debris had hit land.

Experts were concerned that The massive size of the 176-foot rocket and the risky design of its launch mechanism Its debris may not burn up on re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. The rocket drove its empty 23-ton first stage into orbit, looping the planet for several days as it approached landing on a hard-to-predict flight path.

Debris from a rocket launch from China crash-lands – and no one knows where

The United States says China is taking a significant risk by allowing the rocket to fall uncontrollably to Earth without warning of its potential path.

“The People’s Republic of China did not share specific trajectory information as its Long March 5B rocket returned to Earth,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said. Tweeted Saturday

“All spaceflight nations should follow established best practices, and do their part to share this type of information in advance to allow reliable predictions of potential debris impact risks, especially for heavy-lift vehicles like the Long March 5B, which is a Bears significant risk. Loss of life and property,” he continued. “Doing so is critical to the responsible use of space and to ensuring the safety of people here on Earth.”

Ahead of the rocket’s re-entry, it sought to mitigate fears of the debris being a risk to the public, predicting that pieces from the core stage would likely end up in the ocean.

US criticism of China over space debris has been ongoing for a long time. “It is clear that China is failing to meet responsible standards regarding its space debris,” Read a statement NASA published last year.

Last week, China’s state newspaper Global Times accused the West of showing “sour grapes” and trying to discredit its efforts in space. essay accused the US of leading a “smear campaign” against “the vigorous development of China’s space sector”.

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