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US News Space: Part of the Chinese rocket disintegrates above the Indian Ocean

08:15  09 may  2021
08:15  09 may  2021 Source:   rfi.fr

China launches the first element of its

 China launches the first element of its spatial station © supplied by the point B Ient from the Chinese permanently in space? The China launched Thursday the first of the three elements of its spatial station, the "CSS", whose construction will require up to the end of 2022 a dozen missions. The central Tianhe module ("Celestial harmony"), the future place of life of astronauts, was propelled by a long-walking rocket 5b from the Wenchang launch center, on the tropical island of Hainan (South), according to the Public television CCTV.

Des spectateurs assistaient au décollage de la fusée «Longue-Marche 5B», le 29 avril 2021 au centre de lancement spatial de Wenchang (Chine). © Via Reuters - China Daily spectators witnessed the take-off of the "long-walking 5b" rocket, April 29, 2021 at the center of Spatial launch of Wenchang (China).

An important piece of the Chinese rocket that returned on Sunday, May 9, in the earthly atmosphere disintegrated over the Indian Ocean, announced the Chinese space agency after strong speculation on the where this object of eighteen tons could fall.

"According to monitoring and analysis, at 10:24 (2:24 you) on May 9, 2021, the first floor of the long-walking carrier rocket 5B entered the atmosphere," said Chinese space of inhabited space engineering In a statement, providing the coordinates of a point in the Indian Ocean not far from the Maldives. He said the majority of this segment has disintegrated and has been destroyed by entering the atmosphere.

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Little risks

The Chinese authorities had asserted that the uncontrolled return of the long-walking rocket segment, which had placed on April 29th on orbit the first module of its space station, presented little risk. Space-Track, which used US military data, also confirmed entry into the atmosphere. "All those who follow the return of # LongMarch5B can relax. The rocket fell, "he tweeted.

The descent of the segment corresponds to the forecasts of certain experts that there were a good chance that they are damaged at sea because the planet is covered with 70% water. But an uncontrolled entry of an object of this size has aroused concerns about damage and possible victims, despite the low statistical probability.

Attentive follow-up

The American Minister of Defense, Lloyd Austin, assured this week that his country had no intention of destroying the rocket. He had suggested that his launch had not been planned with enough care by China. The American and European spatial authorities closely followed the situation and attempted to determine when and where the object could fall back.

in 2020, debris from another long-walking rocket had crushed on villages in Côte d'Ivoire, causing damage, but without being injured. In April 2018, the Tiangong-1 Chinese Space Lab was disintegrated when entering the atmosphere, two years after it stopped working. China has been investing for a few decades billions of euros in its spatial program.

(with AFP)

to read also: Fall of a Chinese rocket: where will the debris fall?

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