World DOD: No Plans to Shoot Down Falling Chinese Rocket Before Crash
China launches main part of its 1st permanent space station
BEIJING (AP) — China on Thursday launched the main module of its first permanent space station that will host astronauts long term, the latest success for a program that has realized a number of its growing ambitions in recent years. The Tianhe, or “Heavenly Harmony," module blasted into space atop a Long March 5B rocket from the Wenchang Launch Center on the southern island province of Hainan, marking another major advance for the country’s space exploration. © Provided by Associated Press In this image taken from undated video footage run by China's CCTV via AP Video, a rendering of a module of a Chinese space station is shown.
The Defense Department as of Thursday is not planning to shoot down a massive Chinese rocket currently falling uncontrolled toward Earth that is expected to crash down sometime on Saturday or Sunday.
"We have the capability to do a lot of things, but we don't have a plan to shoot it down as we speak," Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday afternoon.
The Pentagon is tracking an out of control Chinese rocket expected to crash into Earth
The Chinese Long March 5B rocket is expected to reenter Earth's atmosphere around May 8. No one knows where. But don't panic!The Chinese Long March 5B rocket launched Tianhe, the core module of the Chinese Space Station.
His comments came days after other elements of the military confirmed that the 100-foot Long March 5B rocket, which helped launch China's first permanent space station into orbit, was no longer under control by Beijing's space agency – a violation of at least Western standards of space operations.
It also remains unclear where the rocket will land in the coming days – a detail about which Austin had few specifics on Thursday.
"We're hopeful it will land in a place where it won't harm anyone – hopefully in the ocean or someplace like that," Austin said, adding indirect criticism of the Chinese: "For those of us who operate in the space domain, there should be a requirement to operate in a safe and thoughtful mode, and make sure we take those kinds of things into consideration."
DOD expands its bug hunting programme to networks, IoT and more
The US Department of Defense opens the scope of its vulnerability disclosure programme to include all publicly accessible information systems.Hands typing on desktop pc computer keyboard
China through its state media on Wednesday blasted "Western hype of the 'China threat' in space technology advancement," citing civilian experts who believe it is "completely normal" for rocket debris to return to Earth and that it will "likely fall in international waters," offering no official assessment of the potential dangers.
The risk of this falling space debris, however, has raised alarm among many analysts.
"This is not unique. Things come down. What's unique about this is it's so large, and the Chinese did nothing to try to control its reentry or mitigate risk," Todd Harrison, director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, tells U.S. News. "This is evidence that they are a junior space power that hasn't really figured out how to operate safely and responsibly."
An 18-ton Chinese rocket fell uncontrolled into the Atlantic Ocean in May near the coast of West Africa, marking the largest piece of space debris to fall to earth since the Soviet space station Salyut 7 in 1991. China's first space station in 2016 crashed into the Pacific Ocean after officials confirmed they had lost control of it. Three years later, China executed a controlled demolition of its second station, Tiangong-2, in Earth's atmosphere.
American officials have previously slammed Chinese behavior in space as the burgeoning superpower expands its celestial exploration. In 2007, it tested an anti-satellite missile and successfully destroyed one of its orbiting weather satellites – a message to the world of its new capabilities and a grave concern to Western powers. Incidents like those are allowed, in part, due to relatively few international laws or rules governing space operations.
Copyright 2021 U.S. News & World Report
Pieces of a runaway Chinese rocket have rained down on the Indian Ocean, quelling fears it would hit people or property .
The rocket had been hurtling towards Earth for a week with no one knowing when or where it would land. The landing quelled fears that debris from the rocket might have fallen on people or property. See more stories on Insider's business page. A Chinese rocket falling toward Earth at around 18,000 miles an hour reentered the atmosphere late Saturday, landing in the Indian Ocean near the Maldives, China's space agency reported, according to the South China Morning Post. It was the 22.5-ton core stage of China's Long March 5B rocket, which launched the first module of the country's new space station on April 28.