According to US space command officials, the debris of the Chinese rocket Long March 5B “re-entered over the Indian Ocean” on Saturday.
“We refer you to the PRC for further details on the reentry’s technical aspects such as potential debris dispersal+ impact location,” the US space command said on its Twitter handle.
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NASA administrator Bill Nelson criticised China for not sharing “established best practices”. Nelson said sharing information would ensure “potential debris impact risk, especially for heavy-lift vehicles, like the Long March 5B, which carry a significant risk of loss of life and property.”
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China has been reinforcing its Tiangong station as part of its ambitious space programme. The Long March 5B rocket had blasted off last week to deliver a laboratory module to the Chinese space station.
Social media users in Malaysia posted videos of what appeared to be rocket debris.
In 2020, fragments of China’s another Long March 5B had crashed in Ivory Coast destroying buildings although no casualties were reported. Last year, debris of another rocket had landed in the Indian Ocean.
Last weekend, China launched the second of three modules to complete its new space station. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s regime has promoted the space programme as a key “space dream” while competing with the United States and Russia. China had earlier landed a rover on Mars and sent probes to the Moon. China plans to build a base on the Moon and send humans there by 2030.
(With inputs from Agencies)
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