Open Now
Open Now
Watch now

Pieces of a 23-ton Chinese rocket that was 'out of control' fall into the Indian Ocean

The US Space Command says that on Saturday, over the Indian Ocean, parts of a big Chinese rocket fell back to Earth without being guided.

At 12:45, the US Space Command saw the pieces of space junk. Aerospace experts had been keeping an eye on the debris for days because they didn't know when or where it would land.

According to updates on the social networking site Weibo, the Chinese Manned Space Agency said that most of the debris burned up on re-entry over the Sulu Sea, which is between the island of Borneo and the Philippines.

The pieces were from China's Long March 5B rocket, which is 23 tons and 10 stories tall. On July 24, China sent a lab module to its Tiangong space station by sending the rocket into orbit.

In two previous launches of the Long March 5B rocket, the rocket returned to Earth without being controlled. Debris from these launches landed near the west coast of Africa in 2020 and in the Indian Ocean in 2021.

China rocket
China insists most of the debris burned up on reentry.
China rocket
The debris was part of a 10-story rocket called Long March 5B.
Getty Images

ABC News says that on Saturday, Bill Nelson, the head of NASA, slammed China for not sharing "specific trajectory information."

"All spacefaring nations should follow best practices and do what they can to share this kind of information in advance," he said in a statement. "This is especially important for heavy-lift vehicles like the Long March 5B, where there is a high risk of loss of life and property if debris hits them."

"This is important to make sure people on Earth are safe and to use space in a responsible way."


Follow us on Google News