A Chinese rocket booster that helped propel part of the space station into orbit touched down on Earth over Southeast Asia on Saturday, the US Space Command confirmed.
Officials believe the 25 tons of debris re-entered the Indian Ocean around 10:45 a.m. MDT.
Witnesses in Malaysia reported seeing bright objects in the sky that looked like meteorites, but said it was debris.
Aerospace Corporation experts He closely watched the booster and believed the vast majority of the rocket burned up in the atmosphere, but said it was possible that 20 to 40 percent of the object could have remained intact by the time it reached the ground.
So far, there have been no reports of damage or injuries from any of the island nations that line the eastern Indian Ocean.
The sights are set on the return of China’s missile boosters in 2020 and 2021 when debris lands over Africa and the Indian Ocean.
A Long March-5B rocket launched from China on July 24 and delivered a laboratory module for the new Tiangong Space Station before falling back to Earth.
The United States and other states have criticized China for returning missile remnants.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson criticized the People’s Republic of China in a statement about the country’s lack of transparency regarding the potentially catastrophic event.
“The People’s Republic of China did not share specific trajectory information as their Long March 5B rocket landed. All spacefaring nations should follow established best practices and do their part to share this type of information in advance to make reliable predictions of potential debris impact risk, especially for heavy payload vehicles like the Long March 5B, life and property. loss Doing so is critical to the responsible use of space and the safety of people on Earth,” Nelson said.
As of Saturday evening, Chinese officials had not commented on the re-entry.