China closely tracking debris of its most powerful rocket

Published July 28, 2022
A Long March-5B Y3 rocket, carrying the Wentian lab module for China's space station under construction, takes off from Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in Hainan province. — Reuters
A Long March-5B Y3 rocket, carrying the Wentian lab module for China's space station under construction, takes off from Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in Hainan province. — Reuters

BEIJING: China is closely tracking the remnants of a Long March 5B rocket launched over the weekend, but the chances of debris causing damage are very slim, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

Last year, China was accused of being opaque, particularly by Nasa, after it kept silent about the estimated debris trajectory of a Long March 5B rocket and its reentry window.

On Sunday, China’s most powerful rocket was launched for the third time since its maiden flight in 2020 to deliver a module into orbit as part of the construction of a Chinese space station.

It is understood that this type of rocket adopts a special technical design and most components will be destroyed during reentry, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular media briefing, when asked if China knew when and where the rocket debris could land. The probability of causing harm to aviation and the ground was very low, Zhao said.

Published in Dawn, July 28th, 2022

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