No damage in Philippines from Chinese rocket that fell from space

No damage in Philippines from Chinese rocket that fell from space

The country's first space station, Tiangong-1, crashed into the Pacific Ocean in 2016 after Beijing confirmed it lost control.

A day after the remains of a Chinese rocket streaked through the skies over the Philippines, crashing into the Indian Ocean, officials on Monday reported no damage from the debris. The debris came down crashing after re-entering Earth's atmosphere and was seen in the skies above the Western Philippines.

Marc Talampas, an official with the Philippine Space Agency, told AP that authorities have been advised to be on the lookout for the rocket debris, which may have splashed down into seawaters off Palawan province. It is worth mentioning that China did not inform the Philippine Space Agency about the incoming rocket debris.

"We are monitoring the situation and have also issued an advisory to the public to be vigilant, avoid contact with any suspected floating debris, and to report to local authorities immediately," Talampas told The Associated Press.

Most of the final stage of the Long March-5B rocket burned up after entering the atmosphere at 12:55 a.m., the China Manned Space Agency reported. The agency said earlier that the booster would be allowed to fall unguided. The announcement gave no details of whether the remaining debris fell on land or sea but said the "landing area" was at 119 degrees east longitude and 9.1 degrees north latitude.

It is in waters southeast of the Philippine city of Puerto Princesa on the island of Palawan.

China has faced criticism for allowing rocket stages to fall to Earth uncontrolled twice before. NASA accused Beijing last year of "failing to meet responsible standards regarding their space debris" after parts of a Chinese rocket landed in the Indian Ocean.

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The country's first space station, Tiangong-1, crashed into the Pacific Ocean in 2016 after Beijing confirmed it lost control. An 18-ton rocket fell uncontrolled in May 2020. China also faced criticism after using a missile to destroy one of its defunct weather satellites in 2007, creating a field of debris that other governments said might jeopardize other satellites.

Meanwhile, Nasa Administrator Bill Nelson said, "All spacefaring nations should follow established best practices and do their part to share this type of information in advance to allow reliable predictions of potential debris impact risk. "Doing so is critical to the responsible use of space and to ensure the safety of people here on Earth."

Earlier this week, analysts said the rocket body, that launched a new module to the under-construction Chinese space station, would disintegrate as it plunged through the atmosphere but is large enough that numerous chunks will likely survive a fiery re-entry to rain debris over an area some 2,000 km (1,240 miles) long by about 70 km (44 miles) wide.

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