Chinese rocket crashes back to Earth

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Remnants of the Chinese Long March 5B rocket that was launched last month have crashed back down to Earth and into the Indian Ocean at a speed of around 4.8 miles per second, according to Reuters.

On Sunday, Chinese state media, citing the China Manned Space Engineering Office, said the rocket debris had mostly burned up upon reentry into Earth's atmosphere.

However footage of the rocket's uncontrolled descent was recorded from Jordan, Oman and Saudi Arabia, according to The Guardian.

Corroborating those images, the monitoring service Space-Track, which uses U.S. military data, said the rocket was recorded above Saudi Arabia before falling into the Indian Ocean, to the west of the Maldives.

After days of speculation that the debris could hit land and endanger lives, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement on NASA's website: "It is clear that China is failing to meet responsible standards regarding their space debris."


RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. The Chinese rocket reenters Earth's atmosphere
2. It begins to disintegrate
3. A family in Jordan films the rocket's descent
4. It disintegrates over Saudi Arabia and the Indian Ocean
5. Pieces fall into the ocean
6. Pieces fall into the ocean in slow motion
7. The Earth rocket's potential crash areas

VOICEOVER (in English):

"Remnants of the Chinese Long March 5B rocket that was launched last month have crashed back down to Earth and into the Indian Ocean at a speed of around 4.8 miles per second, according to Reuters."

"On Sunday, Chinese state media, citing the China Manned Space Engineering Office, said the rocket debris had mostly burned up upon reentry into Earth's atmosphere."

"However footage of the rocket's uncontrolled descent was recorded from Jordan, Oman and Saudi Arabia, according to The Guardian."

"Corroborating those images, the monitoring service Space-Track, which uses U.S. military data, said the rocket was recorded above Saudi Arabia before falling into the Indian Ocean, to the west of the Maldives."

"After days of speculation that the debris could hit land and endanger lives, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement on NASA's website: 'It is clear that China is failing to meet responsible standards regarding their space debris.'"

Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for China's foreign ministry, dismissed concerns about the reentry, saying: 'It is common practice across the world for upper stages of rockets to burn up while reentering the atmosphere.'"

"Emphasizing the lack of controlled outcome, Harvard-based astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell said the debris could have landed as far north as New York or as far south as southern Chile, according to The Guardian."


SOURCES: BBC, NASA, Space.com, The Guardian, Reuters
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-57045058
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-administrator-statement-on-chinese-rocket-debris
https://www.space.com/china-shenzhou-12-astronaut-launch-preparations
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/may/09/chinese-rocket-debris-earth-indian-ocean
https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/science/chinese-rocket-debris-set-re-entry-by-early-sunday-us-rd-centre-2021-05-08/