The returning rocket stage was 33 metres long and weighed over 20 tonnes, making it the sixth-largest object to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Photo: Xinhua
The returning rocket stage was 33 metres long and weighed over 20 tonnes, making it the sixth-largest object to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Photo: Xinhua

China’s Long March 5B rocket makes splash, but good news burns up in the atmosphere

  • Casualties avoided, but China is criticised for failing to plan a ‘targeted re-entry’ to determine where debris would land
  • The rocket and its predecessor – debris from which landed in Africa – have made the largest uncontrolled descents in 30 years, amid differing views on the risks

The returning rocket stage was 33 metres long and weighed over 20 tonnes, making it the sixth-largest object to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Photo: Xinhua
The returning rocket stage was 33 metres long and weighed over 20 tonnes, making it the sixth-largest object to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Photo: Xinhua
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