Wednesday, 10 August, 2022
E-paper

Chinese booster rocket makes uncontrolled return to Earth: US officials

 

A Chinese booster rocket made an uncontrolled return to Earth on Saturday, US Defense Department officials said, as they chided Beijing for not sharing information on the potentially hazardous object's descent.

US Space Command "can confirm the People's Republic of China (PRC) Long March 5B (CZ-5B) re-entered over the Indian Ocean at approx 10:45 am MDT on 7/30," the US military unit said on Twitter, referring to China's official name.

The Long March 5B rocket was used last Sunday to launch an uncrewed spacecraft, named Wentian, carrying the second of three modules China needed to complete its new Tiangong space station.

The Tiangong space station is one of the crown jewels of Beijing's ambitious space program, which has landed robotic rovers on Mars and the Moon, and made China only the third nation to put humans in orbit.

The new module, propelled by the Long March 5B, successfully docked with Tiangong's core module on Monday and the three astronauts who had been living in the main compartment since June successfully entered the new lab.