Debris of Chinese rocket falls in the Indian Ocean
The Chinese Space Agency said the debris of its out of control space rocket heading towards Earth fell in the Indian Ocean.
The bulk of the spacecraft crashed while entering the Earth’s atmosphere, and US and European monitoring sites were anxiously tracking the trajectory of the massive Long March 5B rocket, launched by China late last month, carrying a unit from a Chinese space station under construction.
US officials and others warned of the risk of damage from the rocket’s fall, but the Chinese authorities played down the potential risks. It is one of the largest masses to penetrate the atmosphere (18 tons) without leadership in decades, falling in the Indian Ocean at 72.47 degrees east and 7.65 north latitude.
The rocket’s out of control return sparked US criticism of China, fearing its fall in populated areas. While European and American websites followed his path, the matter was controversial and discussed on social media.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement: “Countries that have space activities are required to reduce risks to people and property, and it is clear that China has not committed to that.” China refused the accusation of complacency by letting a mass of this size fall without a lead on the ground.
In general, such situations can be controlled, either through the spacecraft own engine or small side motors installed in it. In this scenario, the spacecraft’s flight path can be managed: the debris is diverted to a particular uninhabited fall place (such as the ocean), returning to Earth immediately and predictably.