Finally, the excitement around the falling “on our heads” Chinese rocket “Great Course 5B” has stopped. Since the early morning of May 9, its debris fell into the Indian Ocean.
In fact, most of the rocket was destroyed when it entered Earth’s atmosphere, as reported by the Chinese state media. Parts of the Great Course 5B rocket reportedly entered the atmosphere at 10:24 am. The Chinese Bureau of Manned Space Technology reported that the rocket’s center stage fell at coordinates 72.47 degrees east longitude and 2.65 degrees north latitude Beijing time (05:24 Greek time). The coordinates show that the impact point is in the ocean, southwest of India and Sri Lanka. According to the same source, most of the debris from the rocket burned up upon entering the atmosphere.
Despite serious concerns about the landing of an 18-ton rocket, not in the ocean, but somewhere in a densely populated region of the planet, which was launched by China’s space station into orbit around the Earth on April 29, officials in Beijing said the risk was low. Space-Track, which uses data from the US military, also confirmed the return of the rocket to the atmosphere. “Anyone watching the # LongMarch5B return can relax. The rocket fell,” tweeted.
The uncontrolled re-entry of such a large object raised concerns about potential disasters and casualties, although the odds were statistically slim. American and European space authorities were among those who followed the rocket’s course and tried to determine where and when it would land.
The European Space Agency foresaw a “danger zone” that included parts of southern Europe in Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy, parts of Asia south of Japan, almost the entire American continent south of New York and all of Africa, as well as Australia.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stressed that the US military was not going to shoot down the missile, but to smithereens criticized China for negligence. Last year, debris from another Great March missile fell on villages in Ivory Coast in Africa, causing damage but, fortunately, no casualties.
“A rocket landing in the ocean was the most likely,” Harvard astronomer Jonathan McDowell tweeted, adding, “It looks like China won the bet (unless we hear news about space debris in the Maldives). But it was still risky. “
McDowell previously pointed out the need for China to redesign the Great 5B missile to avoid similar scenarios in the future. In turn, the Chinese government brushed aside all the “critical attacks” of the hostile West.