A rocket launched by China has suffered a disaster. On October 31, the Chinese space agency launched a rocket named ‘Long March’. China has used it to send various materials to the Tiangong Space Station. Recently, it has been reported that even after the successful launch, part of the rocket is not under the control of the Chinese space agency. As a result, a part of the rocket weighing 23 tons can hit the earth at any time.

For the fourth time in two years, a large Chinese rocket has gone on an uncontrolled impact. Space industry experts have expressed concern over the incident. China’s Rocket Threshold Experts say both the United States and Europe follow a set of rules regarding rocket launches. That is, the spacecraft should be launched in such a way that even if it is destroyed in space, there is not even a 10,000th chance of falling to earth. And if this happens, there is a lot of possibility of rioting in the world.

‘It’s a low-risk issue,’ Ted Muelhaupt, a consultant at the aerospace corporation, told reporters during a virtual media presentation. But it’s more risky than necessary.’

However, China has not violated any laws or international agreements. But a member of the National Space Administration’s 13-member Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee recently said space debris should not enter the atmosphere. Doing so increases a person’s chance of being injured by one in 10,000.

A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry said, ‘China has always carried out activities in the peaceful use of outer space in accordance with international law and norms. This type of rocket is built using a specially designed technology that allows most of the components to burn up during the process of entering the atmosphere. It has a very low probability of harming Earth and aviation operations.’

The spokesperson also said that Chinese officials are monitoring the booster’s orbit and disclosing information to the international arena in an open and transparent manner.

When small satellites and spacecraft fall out of orbit most of them burn up in the atmosphere, posing little risk to the ground below.

But Long March 5B’s core is about 108 feet long and weighs 22 metric tons. Being so massive, its debris may not burn up completely in the atmosphere, and the surviving pieces may hit Earth somewhere.

Most space-faring nations and space agencies exercise caution when launching objects of this size into space. It also ensures that their debris does not fall into populated areas.

Experts feel that no such precautions have been taken for China’s Long March 5B. Debris from a Long March 5B booster also hit Ivory Coast in May 2020, and fragments of a Long March 5B rocket were found in Indonesia after a launch in July. However, no casualty was reported in either case.

(November 4)