The remnants of China’s Long March 5B rocket crashed uncontrollably into Earth for the second time this year, and this time forced Spain to shut down all of its airspace, a BBC reveals report.
On Friday morning, US Space Command confirmed that pieces of the rocket that carried the third and final piece from China’s Tiangong space station had re-entered the planet’s atmosphere above the south-central Pacific Ocean. .. The debris eventually landed in the water, with no injuries or casualties.
#USSPACECOM can confirm a second atmospheric re-entry correlated to the #PRCLong March 5B #CZ5B upon leaving the #USSPACECOM Area of responsibility over the northeast Pacific Ocean region at 4:06 a.m. MDT/10:06 a.m. UTC November 4. https://t.co/keJdc1tmxi
— US Space Command (@US_SpaceCom) November 4, 2022
This is the Chinese rocket’s fourth uncontrolled reentry since its launch in 2020. The rocket, while extremely powerful, is not as smart as SpaceX’s Falcon 9 or other rockets from NASA or ESA — it can’t re-ignite its engine for a predictable descent to our planet.
Although the rocket was lucky to cause no damage since its first launch, it was a sign of concern and anxiety for astronomers and onlookers alike as they tried to navigate its way to the surface.. So much so that the most recent example forced Spain to briefly close its airspace, causing hundreds of flights to be delayed..
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson once again showed his displeasure with China’s approach, saying the country was not taking proper steps to prevent the runaway re-entry. “It is essential that all space nations be accountable and transparent in their space activities and follow established best practices, particularly for the uncontrolled re-entry of large rocket body debris – debris that could very well result in significant damage or death. loss of life.”
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