On July 24, the Long March 5B rocket, which weighs more than 1.8 million pounds, launched from the Wenchang spaceport with another module bound for Tiangong, China’s first permanent space station that is now being built. During this most recent mission, the second three modules were delivered to China’s space station. The first of two labs to join the station is the 17.9m-long Wentian lab module. With the launch of the Tianhe module, which houses the primary living quarters, China started building the space station in April 2021. Tiangong should be finished by the end of 2022, according to China.
NASA’s statement on China’s aerospace projects stated: “It is clear that China is failing to meet responsible standards regarding their space debris.” This gets justified by the recent unwanted incidents where the “vast majority” of the rocket’s debris burned up during reentry into the atmosphere at about 12:55 a.m on Saturday.
At 119.0 degrees East and 9.1 degrees North- this coordinate located that the debris “landed in the water.” These GPS coordinates are southeast of Puerto Princesa in the seas off the Philippine island of Palawan.
NASA worried that because of the 176-foot rocket’s enormous size and dangerous launch procedure, the debris it left behind might not burn up when it reentered the Earth’s atmosphere. The rocket looped the earth over many days losing its 23-ton as it approached landing in an unpredictable flight path while in orbit.
According to China’s space agency, the Sulu Sea in the Pacific was the site of the rocket’s reentry, which claimed that most of the rocket’s remnants burned in the atmosphere. Questions concerning who is responsible for space debris have been raised in light of the uncontrolled reentry of a rocket’s core stage. Nasa has already requested that the Chinese space agency build their rockets to fragment during reentry, which is accepted worldwide.
Creating items that disintegrate upon atmospheric reentry is a top goal for satellite operators. In part, aluminum and other materials with low melting points are used to achieve this. Because traditionally, the materials used to house fuel, such as titanium, need extremely high temperatures to burn up, doing so may be costly. Another issue is the sheer magnitude of these items.
All spacefaring nations should adhere to accepted best practices and do their part to cooperate in the early exchange of this information. It will enable accurate forecasts of potential debris impact risk, particularly for heavy-lift vehicles like the Long March 5B that pose a serious threat to human lives and property.