In May 2020, debris from another rocket fell on rural parts of Ivory Coast, causing damage to several buildings in the West African nation.
The debris from a Chinese rocket, Long March 5B craft, re-entered Earth’s atmosphere at 10:24 a.m (0224 GMT), state media, Global Times, said, citing the China Manned Space Engineering Office as saying.
The 98-foot-long rocket was launched late April as part of China’s efforts to build its own space station.
The unmanned spacecraft tumbled through an uncontrolled orbit at a speed of 18,000 miles per hour after blasting off with part of China’s space station.
According to government broadcaster CCTV, the remnants of the spacecraft re-entered the atmosphere at 10:12 a.m. over the Mediterranean Sea and landed at 10:24 a.m. in the Indian Ocean, in international waters off the Maldives.
Most of the debris burned up during re-entry, state media cited authorities as saying.
Space experts had warned of the danger from the re-entry of possible debris from an uncontrolled re-entry of the 20-ton, 30-metre-long main section of the launch vehicle, which was one of the largest pieces of space debris ever to return to Earth.
The Long March 5B craft took the Tianhe (Heavenly Harmony) core module to space last Thursday, marking the start of construction of China’s space station.
NBC News had earlier reported that there was a “tiny chance the debris could hit New York, Los Angeles, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Beijing or Abuja, the Nigerian capital.”
In May 2020, debris from another Long March 5B rocket fell on rural parts of Ivory Coast, causing damage to several buildings in the West African nation.
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