Chinese rocket booster drops uncontrolled to Earth

Image - Chinese Rocket Booster: Wikimedia Commons

Image - Chinese Rocket Booster: Wikimedia Commons

The debris from a Chinese rocket booster has dropped into the sea in the Philippines this Saturday and Nasa have criticised the Chinese government for allowing it to happen. 

US defence department officials, including Nasa administrator Bill Nelson, have criticised Beijing’s irresponsibility at allowing the rocket booster to drop uncontrolled to Earth and for failing to share the information about the booster as it made it’s descent. 

On twitter, Nelson commented that the monitoring of the rocket booster’s descent should have followed “established best practices” and that the Chinese agency should have shared what information they had on the March 5B rocket as soon as they could.

China have justified their delayed comment on the booster rocket because “it posed little risk to anyone on the ground”. 

The Long March 5B rocket fell back into the Earth’s atmosphere over the Indian ocean on Saturday, as reported by At this point, the China Manned Space Agency had revealed that they were allowing the rocket booster to drop without their intervention, despite the potentially dangerous hazard the landing of this object would cause to the earth’s surface. 

The rocket booster was so large that enough though much of the body disintegrated as it fell through the atmosphere, there were several chunks of debris that would enter the earth’s atmosphere on fire. The potential landing spot for the debris covered an area some 2,000km long by 70km wide. 

In 2020, the debris from another Chinese Long March 5B destroyed several buildings in a west African nation, although there were no casualties. In 2021, Nasa also criticised the way China had handled a rocket re-entry, the debris of which landed in the Maldives. 

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Image - Annie Dabb
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Annie Dabb

From Newcastle originally, Annie is based in Manchester and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a story you want to share? Then get in touch at