Technology News: Chinese rocket long march 5B has been lighting up our skies since its first launch. It is not often that we get to see these sparkling streaks of light daily but recently few instances have been witnessed where bright streaks of light showed up in the night sky but wait a minute, these streaks were not caused by any natural phenomenon but by the re-entry of the Chinese rocket 5B which China recently launched last Sunday to carry a lab module to its space station Tiangong. This rocket does not have the capability of a controlled re-entry. Though these fallen-back rocket parts pose no threat to living being here on earth as per the China space agency but the re-entry location is quite unpredictable and there can be slight chances when this hits something terrestrial.
This is the 13th piece of space debris that has fallen back to the earth in an un-controlled manner weighing over 6.5 tons since 2000. This one had a weight of 22.5 tons when it entered the earth and later broke apart and fell on the Indian Ocean. China’s space agency declared that most of the parts were disintegrated and burnt in the atmosphere itself but it’s unlikely that 21 tons of the material get entirely burned up within the atmosphere. The uncontrolled return of the rocket’s core stage has also raised questions about the responsibility for space junk.
Let’s read some details about the Long March 5B Rocket
A Chinese rocket fell back to earth which was launched, over the Indian Ocean. But the Beijing had not shared any information about the specific trajectory information needed to know where possible debris might fall. The experts had been tracking the debris but it was not exactly clear when and where it will fall. It could not be determined within the hours of re-entry.
This rocket was part of the Long March 5B rocket that China launched into orbit to deliver a lab module to China’s Tiangong space station. The rocket was meant to come back in a controlled way but during the launch, the 23-metric-ton rocket booster reached orbit and is now being fallen toward the Earth for an uncontrolled reentry.
NASA administrator Bill Nelson said all spacefaring nations should share this type of information in advance to allow reliable predictions of potential debris impact risk and do needful. Further said, doing so is critical to the responsible use of space and to ensuring the safety of the people on Earth.
A video is being virally on social media from Malaysia of what appeared to be space debris.
It was rash to allow the rocket’s entire main-core stage, which weighs 22.5 tons or about 48,500 lb., to return to Earth in uncontrolled reentry, it could have possible consequences. The 5B did not have the thrusters to control the re-entry of the rocket.
The analysts said the rocket body would be parted as it has fallen through the atmosphere but it has large enough that a few chunks of the rocket body survived and re-entered the earth’s atmosphere over an area some 2,000 km or 1,240 miles long by about 70 km or 44 miles wide.
China previously said that they would track the debris but it has little risk to anyone on the ground. The pieces of another Chinese Long March 5B landed on the Ivory Coast in the year 2020, it damaged several buildings in that West African nation, though no injuries were reported.
He further said, that the United States and most other spacefaring nations generally go to the added expense of designing their rockets to avoid large and uncontrolled re-entries, largely observed since large chunks of the NASA space station Skylab fell from orbit in 1979 and landed in the country Australia.
Previously, two launches of the 5B rocket both had uncontrolled re-entries, with rocket debris landing near the west coast of Africa in 2020 and in the Indian Ocean in 2021.
Long March 5B rocket crashed at an approximate latitude and longitude that would place it near Bintulu, a coastal town on the island of Borneo in the Malaysian state Sarawak, the space-trek estimation.
But wait, this is just not the end, there is module 3 left, meanwhile, and the rocket will deliver the third and final lab module, Mengtian, to China’s Tiangong Space Station.