In recent days, there has been global concern about the crash of a Chinese rocket that went out of control and no one knew when or where it would land. However on Sunday it was announced that the missile eventually fell into the Indian Ocean near the Maldives. Although it was not clear if the wreckage caused damage, NASA strongly criticized China, as it said it should be more responsible with its space programs.
In statement released on Sunday after the wreckage fell, the NASA administrator Bill nelson He said space-traveling nations must minimize the dangers to humans and their property on Earth when it comes to re-entry of space objects. Nelson also argued that it was important to maximize the transparency about these re-entries. In this case, the space debris consisted of the main fuselage of a Long March 5B rocket, 98 feet (30 meters) long and 16 feet (5 meters) wide.
Weighing 23 tons, the main fuselage is one of the largest human objects to have made an uncontrolled re-entry to Earth.
«It is clear that China does not meet its responsible standards for space debrisSaid Nelson. «It is vital that China and all nations and businesses operating in space act responsibly and transparently to ensure the safety, stability and long-term sustainability of space activities.»
Specialists have been monitoring the rocket for the past few days, worrying about the possibility of very small pieces of debris falling on residential areas. Nevertheless, they were always more likely to fall into the ocean that covers most of the Earth or into uninhabited areas.
China's space agency said Sunday that the vast majority of Long March 5Bs burned during its re-entry to Earth.
China launched Long March 5B in late April as part of its ambitious project to build its own space station, to be called Tiangong. This is not the first time a Chinese Long March 5B has made an uncontrolled return to Earth. Last year, a Long March 5B carrying a prototype of China's next-generation capsule had the same fate.