Debris from the Chinese Long March 5B rocket fell on Saturday afternoon over the Indian Ocean, The United States Space Command reported on its official Twitter account.
The agency stressed that it refers to the Government of the Philippines “for more details on the technical aspects of re-entry, such as the possible dispersion of debris and the location of the impact.”
#USSPACECOM can confirm the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Long March 5B (CZ-5B) re-entered over the Indian Ocean at approx 10:45 am MDT on 7/30. We refer you to the #PRC for further details on the reentry’s technical aspects such as potential debris dispersal+ impact location.
— US Space Command (@US_SpaceCom) July 30, 2022
This is the second time that the remains of this propellant rocket fall on the Indian Ocean, since the same thing happened last yearwhile in 2020 they fell over the North Atlantic.
The huge rocket booster was put into orbit on July 24 by the Chinese space agency and its uncontrolled fall generated criticism for the lack of planning and security, experts and specialized media reported.
The rocket was to carry a module to dock with the Chinese Tiangong space station, which was successfully done on July 24, but the 21-metric-ton core stage of the rocket orbits the Earth and gradually descends toward an “uncontrolled re-entry”, reported the Aerospace portal.
In May 2021, a similar situation occurred when the core stage of this rocket re-entered the atmosphere and fell over the Indian Ocean, while in 2020 debris from the rocket fell into the North Atlantic.
About the mission of the Long March5B
The Long March5B rocket blasted off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan on June 24 at 2:22 pm Beijing time. The 22-ton Wentian laboratory, stored on top of the rocket, arrived at the orbiting station 13 hours after launch.
The astronauts currently on board the main module of the Tiangong space station, Chen Dong, Liu Yang and Cai Xuzh, became the first astronauts to attend a docking at the Tiangong station.
In a tweet, the astronomer Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics described these uncontrolled readmissions as “unacceptable” due to the multiple inconveniences that they can cause.
Now Space Force has confirmed decay at 1651 UTC approx 113E 3N (Bintulu, Sarawak)
(When they give +- 1 min, they say ‘projected’ but they mean ‘we saw it’) pic.twitter.com/pCIipHTaWe
— Jonathan McDowell (@planet4589) July 30, 2022