Chinese Rocket: In the early hours of Sunday, May 9, debris from the Chinese Long March 5B rocket that took a module from China’s new space station into Earth orbit crashed into the Indian Ocean, near the Maldives Islands. The reentry of debris on Earth has rekindled the discussion about space debris from the exploration of the universe by different nations and, more recently, by private companies like SpaceX, by billionaire Elon Musk.
Understand the spatial brawl of the time
United States military experts watched the Chinese rocket re-enter with great concern and warned that it was difficult to predict where and when the wreckage would return to the planet – as well as how much material could hit the ground, since the rocket, when launched, weighed 185 tons . The return calculation found that about 20 tons of space debris could return to Earth and could even hit a plane during the fall.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Wang Wenbin, for his part, took his time, saying that the likelihood that the rocket’s return would cause damage to aviation activities or to people and activities on the ground was extremely low.
Before the crash, Song Zhongping, a Chinese aerospace expert, told the Chinese state newspaper Global Times that the return of rocket remains to Earth is completely normal – whether from any nation or company. Song said that China’s space monitoring network would also keep watch over the areas covered by the rocket’s flight course and would take the necessary measures if any damage occurred to the ships using the route.
For Song, the Pentagon’s military speech was more of an old Western trick used by hostile powers whenever they see technological advances in China. “As long as China remains open and transparent to international society, these rumors will naturally be shattered,” said the expert.