China’s Long March rocket disintegrates on re-entry, debris falls into Indian Ocean

China’s Long March rocket disintegrates on re-entry, debris falls into Indian Ocean China's Long March-5B Y2 rocket (Photo Credit: Xinhua)

BEIJING: The debris of the last stage of the Long March-5B Y2 carrier rocket reentered the atmosphere at 10:24 am on Sunday, the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) said. The vast majority of the device burned up during the reentry, and the rest of the debris fell into the Indian Ocean with the centre at 2.65 degrees north latitude and 72.47 degrees east longitude, said the CMSA.

The Long March-5B Y2 rocket, carrying the Tianhe module, the first and core module for the construction of China’s space station, blasted off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on the coast of the southern island province of Hainan on April 29.

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The above-mentioned rocket was used by the Chinese authority to launch part of its space station last Thursday. While space debris objects mostly get burned up in the atmosphere, the size of this rocket — 22 tonnes — had raised some concern as to large parts of it re-entering and causing severe damage if they hit inhabited areas.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin had earlier said the debris of the Chinese carrier vehicle Chang Zheng 5 (Long March 5) will most likely burn upon its re-entry into the atmosphere, while also adding that there is very little risk of it hitting the ground.

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