Chinese rocket debris crashes into Indian ocean
Debris of China’s largest space rocket booster landed in the Indian Ocean near the Maldives on Sunday, with most of its remnants destroyed upon its uncontrolled re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.
“After monitoring and analysis, at 10:24 (0224 GMT) on May 9, 2021, the last-stage wreckage of the Long March 5B Yao-2 launch vehicle has re-entered the atmosphere,” the China Manned Space Engineering Office said in a statement, providing coordinates for a point in the Indian Ocean near the Maldives.
With most of the Earth’s surface covered by water, the odds of populated area on land being hit had been low, and the likelihood of injuries even lower, according to experts.
The bulk of its components was burnt up during re-entry in the atmosphere, Chinese state media reported, citing the Chinese space agency.
“It is clear that China is failing to meet responsible standards regarding their space debris,” Nasa administrator Bill Nelson, a former senator and astronaut who was picked for the role in March, said in a statement after the re-entry of the Long March 5B rocket.
The United States and European space authorities were among those tracking the trajectory of the rocket amid concerns regarding where its remnants may make an impact.