US hits out as Chinese rocket debris hits Earth
Remnants of a Chinese rocket landed in the Indian Ocean on Sunday, with most of its components destroyed upon re-entry into the atmosphere, drawing criticism from the United States over lack of transparency.
The coordinates given by Chinese state media, citing the China Manned Space Engineering Office, put the point of impact in the ocean west of the Maldives archipelago.
Debris from the Long March 5B had people looking warily skyward since it blasted off from China’s Hainan island on April 29, but the China Manned Space Engineering Office said most of the debris was burnt up in the atmosphere.
“The debris of the last stage of the Long March-5B Y2 carrier rocket re-entered the atmosphere at 10:24 a.m. on Sunday (Beijing Time),” China’s official news agency Xinhua reported.
“The vast majority of the device burned up during the re-entry, and the rest of the debris fell into a sea area with the centre at 2.65 degrees north latitude and 72.47 degrees east longitude,” it said.
The re-entry of the rocket’s debris into the earth’s atmosphere drew strong criticism from NASA, which accused China of failing to “meet responsible standards”.