Chinese Rocket Disintegrates Over Texas


The June 23, 2022 launch of three spy satellites aboard a Long March rocket. The second stage of this launch broke up over Texas on Wednesday. | Image by USNI

A Chinese rocket bearing spy satellites has disintegrated over Texas.

The second stage component of a Chang Zheng 2D Long March rocket burnt up in the atmosphere above Texas on March 8.

The United States Naval Institute (USNI News) reported that the rocket entered the atmosphere above West Texas near Marathon at 17,000 miles per hour before burning up.

The debris field was tracked northeast between Abilene and Austin. No debris has been discovered at this point.

This rocket delivered three military surveillance satellites into orbit in June 2022.

Satellite tracking data from the North American Aerospace Defense Command revealed that this second-stage rocket was classified as space junk in low Earth orbit and had made an unscheduled re-entry.

“This was an uncontrolled reentry, meaning it was not steered but rather its orbit decayed and lowered naturally. This type of behavior reinforces the need for better international norms regarding high-risk uncontrolled reentries,” read a statement from the U.S. Space Command, according to USNI News.

Despite the possible path of debris spanning hundreds of miles, information from the Texas Demographic Center reveals that it covers some of the least populated areas in the state.

This is not the only time Chinese space debris reentered Earth’s atmosphere and presented a hazard.

A 25-ton Chinese rocket crashed into the Indian Ocean in July 2022, brought down in an unpredictable way by atmospheric drag.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson issued a statement after that incident, criticizing China for its rocket disposal procedures.

“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, especially for heavy-lift vehicles, like the Long March 5B, which carry a significant risk of loss of life and property,” said Nelson in the statement.

“Doing so is critical to the responsible use of space and to ensure the safety of people here on Earth,” Nelson continued.

Nelson considers the U.S. and China to be in a space race, as The Dallas Express reported early this year. China has made considerable leaps in space exploration, from launching military satellites to developing Asia’s largest telescope.

In an interview with Politico, Nelson warned that China may control lunar landing sites and prohibit U.S. exploration altogether.

The U.S. has stepped up its own lunar plans recently with the Artemis program, which includes a manned mission to the moon scheduled for November 2024.

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4 days ago

China is out of control, and has been out of control since they released the Covid Virus intentionally!! We need to do something about this country ASAP!!

Last edited 4 days ago by John