After remnants of China’s rogue Long March 5B rocket landed in the Indian Ocean near the Maldives early Sunday, NASA chastised the country for failing to follow responsible spacefaring expectations.
In Jordan, Oman, and Saudi Arabia, sightings of Chinese rocket debris re-entering Earth’s atmosphere and scorching the pre-dawn skies were confirmed
Rocket debris lands in the Indian Ocean near the famous Maldives
In a tweet, NASA Administrator Sen. Bill Nelson said, “It is clear that China is struggling to follow responsible standards about their space debris.”
To reduce the risks to people and property on Earth, all spacefaring nations, according to Nelson, must be transparent in their operations regarding the reentry of objects from space.
“To ensure the protection, stability, security, and long-term sustainability of outer space operations, China and all spacefaring nations and commercial entities must behave responsibly and transparently in space,” Nelson said.
Reentry took place at 10:24 a.m. on Sunday, according to China’s official Xinhua News Agency Beijing time.
“During the reentry process, the vast majority of objects were burned beyond recognition,” according to the study.
On April 29, the main module of Tianhe, or Heavenly Harmony, China’s first permanent space station, was launched into orbit by the Long March 5B rocket. The rocket stage, which is about 100 feet long, is one of the largest pieces of space debris ever to hit the ground but China’s motive for launching the rocket component into space is unknown.