Long March 5B: Chinese missile debris likely crashed into the Indian Ocean near the Maldives, says Chinese space agency


However, much of the huge, long March 5B rocket was burned as the atmosphere re-entered, the Chinese Mainland Space Engineering Office said in a post on WeChat.

It was not clear whether debris had entered the atoll nation.

According to U.S. Space Command, Long March 5B returned to Earth over the Arabian Peninsula.

On April 29, the rocket, about 108 feet high and weighing nearly 40,000 pounds, launched a piece of a new Chinese space station into orbit. After their fuel was spent, the rocket was left uncontrollably filtered through space until the Earth’s gravity. he pulled him back to the ground.

In general, the international space community tries to avoid such scenarios. Most of the rockets used to lift satellites and other objects into space make more controlled returns to the ocean, or remain in so-called “cemetery” orbits that hold them in space for decades or centuries. But the Long March rocket was designed to “leave these large sections at low orbit,” said Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at Harvard University’s Center for Astrophysics.

In this case, it was impossible to be sure exactly when and where the reminder would land.

The European Space Agency has predicted a “risk zone” that will include “any part of the Earth’s surface between about 41.5 N and 41.5 S” – covering virtually all of South America, the whole of America, all of Africa, and Australia , Parts of Asia. South of Japan, as well as European Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece.

Chinese missile debris is expected to strike Earth soon.  This is not the first time.

The threat posed to populated land was not negligible, but fortunately the vast majority of the Earth’s surface is digested by the oceans, so the chances of avoiding catastrophic access were slim.

The rocket has recently been one of the largest objects to hit Earth after falling into orbit, following a 2018 incident in which a piece of a Chinese space laboratory collapsed over the Pacific Ocean and an 18-metric ton Long March 5B rocket.

Despite recent efforts to better regulate and mitigate space debris, there are hundreds of thousands of uncontrollable debris on Earth’s orbit, most of which is less than 10 centimeters.

Objects are constantly out of orbit, although most pieces burn in the Earth’s atmosphere before you have a chance to make an impact on the surface. But some parts of larger objects, such as the Long March rocket, could survive the return and threaten structures and people on earth.

“Norms have emerged,” McDowell said.

“There is no international law or rule – nothing special – but the practice of countries around the world was,‘ Yes, for larger missiles, let’s not leave the trash like that. “