Chinese Rocket Debris Crashing Into Indian Ocean Garners US Criticism

Chinese Rocket Debris Crashing Into Indian Ocean, Garners US Criticism


Chinese rocket debris rushing back towards the Earth crashed into the Indian Ocean as per reports from a State agency. While significant parts of the rocket were destroyed before re-entering the planet, the debris crashed into the waters very close towards the left of Maldives. The incident took place on Sunday, May 9, 2021.

There was severe speculation regarding the landing of the rocket. Moreover, US officials were constantly warning that the Chinese rocket debris is a significant potential risk. However, China assured that the risk factor is pretty low.

The Long March- 5b vehicle entered the atmosphere around 2:24 GMT or 10:24 Beijing time on May 9, 2021. The state media was focusing on reports from the Chinese organized Space Engineering Office.

Finally, there were zero reports of damage or injuries. Reports state that the Chinese rocket debris was part of a rocket weighing 18-tonnes. According to the US Space command, the re-entering path of the rocket was over the Arabian Peninsula. However, it is yet to confirm the actual landing point that the Chinese media is stating.

The USSC states that there is still no clarity about the actual landing point of the debris. According to the Space-Trek monitoring services, the last record of the rocket was above Saudi Arabia.

Using US military data, the officials suggest that it was right after that the debris crashed into the Indian Ocean in an area near the Maldives. The uncontrollable return of the Long March- 5b vehicle is garnering severe US criticism.

Western media accuses China of negligence after the Chinese rocket debris crash

The fear of the debris crashing into an inhabited area was major despite positive assurance from China. Therefore, European and US websites were constantly tracking the return to warn the government of any speculation immediately.

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According to Lloyd Austin, US Defense Secretary, spacefaring countries must ensure risk minimization to property and Earth people. Besides, China is failing to keep up with the responsibility standards after the space debris incident.

While space experts were partially sure that there would be no damage, there is always a slight fear factor. The reason that rules out destruction is that a significant part of the planet has oceans and water bodies. Therefore, there are high chances that such a crash will not take place in an inhabited area.

China used the primary part of the Long March- 5b vehicle to launch the country’s first module into space in April 2021. The original elliptical orbit injection was around 99 miles by 233 miles (160km by 375 km) during the April 29 launch. However, the vehicle starts losing height very soon.

While several debris modelling experts suggest that significant parts of the vehicle burn typically up while entering the atmosphere during the last plunge. However, there is always a chance that metals with resistant materials and high melting points will survive on the Earth’s surface for years.

A year back, a similar incident took place when another core stage travelled back to Earth. The debris was visible later in the West African Ivory Coast. China denies all allegations of negligence, and the Chinese media is stating that the western media is creating unnecessary hype. Moreover, they are saying that there was no chance that the debris would crash on land.

Shusree Mukherjee

Writing allows me to pour my heart out in words. So, that's what I've been doing for the past 6 years. I strive to bring in a change in the world by taking tiny steps of curating the right message that needs to be conveyed.

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