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Falling China rocket debris burn in air

China’s launch vehicle is mainly made of lightweight materials



BEIJING (Global Times) — Most of the debris from China’s Long March-5B Y2 carrier rocket burned during re-entry through Earth’s atmosphere, the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) said Sunday.

The location of the 10:24 a.m. re-entry on Sunday is 72.47 degrees east longitude and 2.65 degrees north latitude, CMSA noted in a statement.

Song Zhongping, an aerospace expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times that it is “completely normal” for rocket debris to return to Earth, and is a common practice carried out by global participants in the aerospace field, including China and the US.

As China’s launch vehicle is mainly made of lightweight materials, most of it will be easily burnt up by the dense air in the atmosphere following its high-speed re-entry, space insiders explained.
The environmentally friendly fuel used by China’s Long March-5B Y2 rocket will not result in water pollution if the debris falls into the ocean, space experts added.

The probability of harm caused by the rocket, which sent the first section of China’s space station Tianhe core module into orbit on 29 April, is “extremely low,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Friday amid continuous Western hype of the dangerous “out of control”

Following the launch, China kicked off an intense construction phase of the country’s first space station project, where a busy schedule of another 10 launches has been set for the next two years. The space station is expected to be operational by 2022.

The space station is to be the only operational one in orbit that will be open to foreign partners following the retirement of the International Space Station, experts said.