Chinese rocket debris a responsible spacefaring actor

Chinese rocket debris a responsible spacefaring actor

Chinese rocket debris is a responsible spacefaring actor when it comes to dealing with it, observers said, challenging NASA Administrator Bill Nelson's accusations regarding Chinese rocket debris.

Nelson released a statement on Sunday, claiming that China did not share specific trajectory information as their Long March 5 B rocket fell back to Earth. He also made comments about the responsible use of space and ensuring the safety of people here on Earth.

The rocket, which blasted off on July 24 from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan province, was used to send China's Wentian space lab module to dock with the country's Tiangong space station.

Yang Yuguang, a senior space industry observer and vice-chair of the International Astronautical Federation's Space Transportation Committee, said on Thursday in Beijing that Nelson's claims were groundless and meant to hype up issues related to China's space programs.

At least 90 percent of the Long March 5 B is made of a thin, combustible metal casing that will burn up on entry into the atmosphere. Yang said that the amount of components capable of reaching Earth is almost the same as that of any other type of rocket.

The US must have been able to calculate the time and location of the Long March 5 B's descent to Earth, given that China had published detailed data about this type of rocket several times before its re-entry on previous occasions, according to Wu Peixin, an aerospace industry observer.