WASHINGTON — A Chinese booster rocket made an uncontrolled return to Earth on Saturday, prompting U.S. officials to berate Beijing for not sharing information about the potentially dangerous object’s descent.
US Space Command “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,” the US military unit said on Twitter.
“We refer you to the #PRC for further details on the reentry’s technical aspects such as potential debris dispersal+ impact location,” it said.
In a statement posted on its official WeChat profile, China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) later revealed the coordinates of an impact zone in the Sulu Sea, about 57 kilometers off the eastern coast of the Philippine island of Palawan.
“Most of its equipment was eroded and destroyed during re-entry,” the agency said of the launch vehicle used last Sunday to launch the second of three modules needed by China to complete its new Tiangong space station.
The Malaysian space agency said it discovered debris from rockets that burned up on re-entry before falling into the Sulu Sea northeast of the island of Borneo.
“Debris from the missile caught fire as it entered Earth’s airspace, and the movement of the flaming debris also passed through Malaysian airspace and could be detected in multiple areas, including outer airspace around the state of Sarawak,” it said.
- Editor /main report by AFP