‘Out of control’ Chinese space rocket debris has finally crash landed on Earth
A Chinese rocket weighing the same as three T-Rex dinosaurs has finally crash landed on Earth – and it's somewhere in the Indian Ocean.
The rocket stage had fallen off of the newly-launched Wentian space station module, which was fired into orbit by China on Sunday (July 24).
While the module docked safely, the rocket launcher had fallen away and was in an “uncontrolled” orbit somewhere above Earth.
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Astronomer Jonathan McDowell had warned that the rocket “remains in orbit” and nobody could predict “when or where” it will strike.
However, despite predictions of it falling in heavily populated areas of Mexico, or possibly near Texas, it has landed nowhere near that and now lies somewhere in the Indian Ocean near Malaysia.
The debris landed at around 5.45pm UK time, and it was confirmed by US Space Command.
Videos on social media show a path of debris lighting up the night sky in Malaysia, although it was not know where exactly it was.
The space agency tweeted: “USSPACECOM can confirm the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Long March 5B (CZ-5B) re-entered over the Indian Ocean at approx 10:45 am MDT on 7/30.
“We refer you to the #PRC for further details on the re-entry’s technical aspects such as potential debris dispersal+ impact location.”
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And Jonathan McDowell tweeted: "Now Space Force has confirmed decay at 1651 UTC approx 113E 3 N (Bintulu, Sarawak).
“When they give +- 1 min, they say 'projected' but they mean 'we saw it'.”
China has yet to comment on its own space debris, which some claimed has also hit a small Malaysian town called Bintulu – although this has not yet been confirmed.
The vast majority of the rocket's body is thought to have disintegrated when entering the Earth's atmosphere, so any debris landing in the Indian Ocean wouldn't be very easy to find.
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