NASA Administrator Issues Statement After China’s Rocket Plunges Into Indian Ocean
republicworld– After spiralling out of control at an exorbitant speed of 27,600 km per hour, the 21-ton core of the Chinese spacecraft disintegrated and plunged into the Indian Ocean early Sunday morning. While the crash of Long March-5B’s giant part into the sea deterred the possibility of it landing into a civilian area causing damages, NASA issued a statement about the ‘responsible space ethics’. The Chinese rocket is said to have made one of the largest uncontrolled re-entries into the Earth’s atmosphere, as its entire first stage entered low-Earth orbit on April 29th to deliver its payload along with the Tianhe module, which in the likeness of the ISS, serves as the living quarter for China’s new space station.
It is yet unclear if the part of the 108 feet tall and 40,000 pounds rocket that crashed into the Indian ocean has caused any destruction on the atoll nation, or to the waters, according to the US Space Command. But what’s more concerning is the fact that the rocket’s fuel had spent, and it hurtled ‘uncontrollably’ towards the Arabian peninsula due to the Earth’s gravity, making it difficult for the US defense or the Space command to predict for days where exactly in the world China’s Long March 5B was going to crash-land. The international space community, thus far, has attempted to deter such risks and the most expendable rocket stages separate the booster into orbit before making such re-entries into the Earth’s atmosphere. But China’s rocket is built differently.
In an official statement, NASA Administrator Sen. Bill Nelson expressed concern about the falling of the haywire rocket stage of China’s Long March 5B, saying: “It is clear that China is failing to meet responsible standards regarding their space debris.” He continued, “It is critical that China and all spacefaring nations and commercial entities act responsibly and transparently in space to ensure the safety, stability, security, and long-term sustainability of outer space activities.”
‘Uncertainty’ around crash cause of concern
Nelson who assumed his role at NASA as the 14th space administrator on May 3 expressed alarm not at the rocket debris crashing but the ‘uncertainty’ around it. The Chinese rocket is 176 feet tall, which the broadcasters estimate, is much taller than the United States’ statue of liberty. Experts aired their concerns on live television saying that the rocket’s size and fast speed made it nearly impossible to pinpoint if it was heading towards one of the populated suburbs or the countries, with earlier predictions pointing the location of the crash to New York City, before it crashed at 72.47°E longitude and 2.65°N latitude, west of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean at 18,000 mph, as per China’s National Space Agency.