23-Tonne Uncontrolled Chinese Rocket Debris Fall In The Pacific

5 November, 2022 | Pranay Lad

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The enormous fragment came from the core stage of the Long March 5B rocket, which was launched on October 31.

The United States Space Command tweeted that a 23-ton piece of a huge Chinese rocket had safely fallen into the Pacific Ocean. The Chinese rocket has struck the planet following an uncontrolled re-entry from space four times in the past two years. The component was a part of China’s new Tiangong space station’s Long March 5B rocket, which launched the station’s third and last module. The spent rocket booster burned up on re-entry, but some of the larger pieces and other debris fell to Earth’s surface.

“#USSPACECOM can confirm that at 4:01am MDT/10:01 UTC on November 4, the People’s Republic of China Long March 5B #CZ5B rocket re-entered the atmosphere over the south-central Pacific Ocean.

We again point you to the #PRC for information on the precise location of the uncontrolled reentry’s impact,” the US Space Command tweeted.

According to a source on space.com, the large component was left over from the rocket’s core stage after its October 31 flight.

Experts have been warning against the rocket falling in an uncontrolled manner ever since it was first reported. Ted Muelhaupt, a consultant with Aerospace Corporation, which monitors orbital re-entries, had said on Wednesday, “Here we go again.”

According to a media outlet’s article, the rocket was used to launch Mengtian, the last component of the space station, into orbit for assembly. The booster is comparable to a ten-story building in size.

Mengtian, Tiangong’s second lab module, is the final “building brick” needed for the space station to take on its final, T-shaped configuration.

According to the state-run news agency, this marked the beginning of the space station’s final phases of development. Chinese space officials had earlier stated that the station should be finished this year.