A Chinese rocket that fell uncontrollably to Earth has disintegrated over the Indian Ocean. The U.S. military has yet to say whether debris from the Long March 5B launcher caused any damage. Some of the debris burned up in the atmosphere.
The rocket was used on July 24 to launch a module for the Tiangong space station, which is currently under construction. The Chinese have already faced criticism from the US space agency NASA, among others, that the rocket is not designed for a controlled descent from orbit around Earth.
The same thing happened last year. At the time, the same type of rocket launched the first part of the Chinese space station into space, and then no one knew where on Earth the remains of the rocket would land. They finally crashed in the Indian Ocean, somewhere near the Maldives.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, said debris was highly unlikely to cause damage to planes, people and objects on the ground. He said most of the missile’s components would be destroyed upon re-entry.
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