SEOUL, July 31 (Yonhap) — China’s Long March-5B or Chang Zheng 5 missile disintegrated over waters southwest of the Philippines at dawn Sunday (Seoul time), smashing into the skies over the Indian Ocean, the Ministry of Science and Information and Communications Technology announced.
Citing confirmation from the US Space Force (USSF) and China National Space Administration (CNSA), the ministry issued a press release saying that “the wreckage of the Chinese Long March-5B rocket landed at about 1:45 am on Sunday (12). 45 Saturday afternoon EDT) in waters southwest of the Philippines” where most of the debris burned up as it entered the atmosphere between Borneo Island and the Sulu Sea in the southwest Philippines.
The disassembled part of the rocket weighs 24.5 tons. Long March-5B was launched in a bid to build a private space station for China as the NASA chief criticized Beijing on Saturday (US time) for “not providing accurate trajectory information” on his Twitter account. Since the upper part of the Chang Zheng 5 rocket is very large and heavy, experts have issued a warning about the possibility of debris hitting the Earth after entering the atmosphere.
In most cases, debris is programmed to fall into uninhabited areas, at sea or at a specific point of fall, but the Chinese Long March-5B missile has not been programmed or verified. The debris of the Chang Zheng 5 missile has already fallen to the ground twice, one on a village in Côte d’Ivoire causing damage to a building in May 2020 and the other in the waters of the Indian Ocean last year.
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