China: The “Long March 5B” misshapen missile disintegrated over the Indian Ocean

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The Chinese “Long March 5B” space missile, which was launched last week, disintegrated at dawn on Sunday over the Indian Ocean after entering the Earth’s atmosphere in a random manner, according to official Chinese media.

According to the Chinese state television, quoting the Chinese Office of Manned Space Engineering, the coordinates of the location of the remnants of the missile fell in the Indian Ocean, indicating a location in southwestern India and Sri Lanka.

He said, “On May 9, 2021, after monitoring and analysis, the debris of the last stage of the” Long March 5B Yao-2 “launch vehicle returned to the atmosphere at 10:24 (02:24 GMT).

Most of the debris was burned up in the atmosphere, it noted. For its part, the leadership of the US Space Force confirmed the fall of the Chinese missile.

This is not the first time that China has lost control of a spacecraft upon its return to Earth. In 2020, shrapnel of another Long March missile fell on towns in Ivory Coast, causing damage but no casualties.

In April 2018, the Tiangong-1 space laboratory disintegrated upon its return to the atmosphere two years after it was inactive. The Chinese authorities denied at the time that they had lost control of the laboratory.

China is investing billions of dollars on its space program in an effort to catch up with Russia and the United States in this area.

The giant Asian country sent its first Chinese citizen into space in 2003. In early 2019, it put a vehicle on the dark side of the moon, in a global precedent.

Last year, Beijing also brought samples from the moon, and completed the work of its “Beidou” satellite navigation system (a competitor of the US “GPS” system).

China plans to land a small, wheeled robot on Mars in the coming weeks, and to send human missions to the moon by 2030. It has also announced that it wants to build a base on the moon with Russia.





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