Chinese rocket disintegrates over Arabian Sea after uncontrolled re-entry: state media

Chinese rocket debris could land near NZ today

China said on Sunday that the debris from its disintegrating Long March rocket has entered the Earth's atmosphere with most of its parts burned up during its uncontrolled re-entry.

Space-Track.org estimated Saturday evening that the rocket would reenter the atmosphere over the North Atlantic at 02:04 UTC (10:04 p.m. EDT), give or take one hour.

"There is a real chance of damage to whatever it hits and the outside chance of a casualty", he said.

China's space programme has also recently brought back the first new lunar samples in more than 40 years and expects to land a probe and rover on the surface of Mars later next month.

China has said the upper stage of its Long March 5B rocket that launched the core module of its space station will mostly burn up on re-entry, posing little threat to people and property on the ground.

It was carrying the Tianhe module, which contains what will become living quarters for three crew members on a permanent Chinese space station. After the unmanned Tianhe module separated from the rocket, the almost 21,000-kilogram rocket should have followed a planned reentry trajectory into the ocean.

The debris from an out-of-control Chinese rocket has broken through Earth's atmosphere over the Indian Ocean.

USA officially begins to withdraw from Afghanistan
It was not clear who was behind the attack, but the government blamed the Taliban who said they were looking into the matter. Between 66,000 to 69,000 Afghan troops have been killed. "We have the greatest fighting force in the history of the world".

The U.S. Space Command's Space Track Project said in a tweet: "Everyone else following the LongMarch5B re-entry can relax".

What had the U.S. said?

While the odds are good that any debris will fall into the ocean, debris from another Long March 5B rocket fell on parts of Ivory Coast in May 2020, causing damage to some buildings.

The European Space Agency has predicted a potential "risk zone" that encompasses a huge swath of the globe - including "virtually all of the Americas south of NY, all of Africa and Australia, parts of Asia south of Japan and Europe's Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece".

"We're hopeful that it will land in a place where it won't harm anyone", said Pentagon spokesman Mike Howard. "Hopefully in the ocean, or someplace like that", Austin told reporters.

When completed by late 2022, the T-shaped Chinese Space Station is expected to weigh about 66 tons, considerably smaller than the International Space Station, which launched its first module in 1998 and will weigh about 450 tons when completed.

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