| 29 May 2024, Wednesday |

China says its rocket debris unlikely to cause any harm

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Friday that most debris from a Chinese rocket will be burned up on re-entry and is highly unlikely to cause any harm.

Debris from the Long March 5B that sent part of a planned space station into orbit last week is likely to fall in international waters, China’s Global Times reported on Wednesday.

The Long March 5B blasted off from Hainan island on April 29 carrying the “Tianhe” module that contains what will become living quarters for 3 crew on a permanent Chinese space station.

The Defense Department said U.S. Space Command was tracking the rocket’s location and that re-entry was expected to be around May 8.

The Pentagon said “all debris can be potential threats to spaceflight safety and the space domain,” noting that the 18th Space Control Squadron in California would be offering daily updates on the rocket body’s location from May 4.

The White House said Washington was committed to addressing the risks of congestion due to space debris and wants to work with the international community “to promote leadership and responsible space behaviors.”

  • Reuters