Chinese rocket falls to Earth, Nasa says Beijing did not share information

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US Space Command said Long March 5B rocket re-entered Earth’s atmosphere over Indian Ocean (Reuters)

WASHINGTON: A Chinese rocket fell back to Earth over the Indian Ocean on Saturday, but NASA said Beijing had not shared the “specific trajectory information” needed to know where debris could potentially fall.
US Space Command said the Long March 5B rocket re-entered the Indian Ocean at approximately 12:45 a.m. EDT Saturday (1645 GMT), but referred questions about “the technical aspects of the reentry, such as the possible location of the debris spreading.” ” to China.
“All space countries should follow established best practices and do their part to share this kind of information in advance to enable reliable predictions of the potential risk of debris impact,” said NASA administrator Bill Nelson. “This is critical to the responsible use of space and to ensure the safety of people here on Earth.”
Social media users in Malaysia posted a video of what appeared to be rocket debris.
Aerospace Corp, a government-funded nonprofit research center near Los Angeles, said it was reckless to return the entire 22.5-ton (about 48,500 lb) rocket to Earth in an uncontrolled reentry. .
Earlier this week, analysts said the rocket body would disintegrate if it plunged through the atmosphere, but is large enough that numerous chunks are likely to survive a fiery return to rain down debris over an area roughly 2,000 km long and about 70 km (44 mi) wide.
The Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately comment. China said earlier this week it would closely monitor the debris, but said it posed little risk to anyone on the ground.
The Long March 5B took off on July 24 to deliver a lab module to the new Chinese space station under construction in orbit, marking the third flight of China’s most powerful rocket since its first launch in 2020.
Fragments of another Chinese Long March 5B landed in Ivory Coast in 2020, damaging several buildings in that West African country, though no injuries were reported.
By contrast, he said, the United States and most other space-faring nations are generally going at the added cost of designing their rockets to avoid large, uncontrolled reentry — a necessity largely perceived since large stretches of the NASA space station. Skylab fell off the ground. job in 1979 and landed in Australia.
Last year, NASA and others accused China of being opaque after the Beijing government kept silent about the estimated trajectory of debris or the return window of its final Long March rocket flight in May 2021.
Debris from that flight landed harmlessly in the Indian Ocean.


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