Asia - Pacific

China acknowledges Long March rocket debris ‘falling back on earth’

Country’s space agency says debris of Long March-5B Y2 rocket ‘may re-enter earth's sometime this weekend’

Riyaz ul Khaliq?   | 07.05.2021
China acknowledges Long March rocket debris ‘falling back on earth’

ANKARA

China has acknowledged that debris of its indigenously built rocket which carried main module of its space station into orbit is "falling back on earth," local media reported on early Friday.

China’s National Space Administration said the debris of the Long March-5B Y2 rocket “may re-enter earth's atmosphere sometime this weekend”, according to public broadcaster CGTN.


It added the rocket should burn up on re-entry, with some Chinese experts warning that “pieces could land in the Pacific.”

The rocket was launched on April 29 into the space carrying the core module -- Tianhe -- of China’s upcoming T-shaped space station.

“A possible amateur ground observation of the rocket core showing regular flashes suggests that it is tumbling and thus not under control,” Space News website said on April 30, adding it is “slowly and unpredictably” heading back to Earth.


Tianhe had separated from the core stage of the launcher after 492 seconds of flight, directly entering its initial planned orbit.

Meanwhile, China on Friday successfully launched another group of satellites into orbit. The satellites were launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan province.

Belonging to the Yaogan-30 family, the satellites were launched by a Long March-2C carrier rocket.

When the satellites adjust in the orbit, they will be used for remote-sensing which includes electromagnetic environmental detection and related technological tests.


Tianqi-12, one of the satellites, will be used for data collection and transmission.

It was the 369th mission of the Long March rocket series.​​​​​​​

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