Debris from China’s 18-tonne Long March rocket landed in the Indian Ocean west of the Maldives on Sunday afternoon. China’s state media quoted the space authorities as saying that bulk of the rocket burnt up while entering the earth’s atmosphere.
The Long March 5B rocket, China’s biggest to date, was launched late last month carrying the core Tianhe module for the Tiangong space station being assembled in space. While the module is in earth orbit, the rocket began to tumble out of its orbit. Normally such vehicles fall in a pre-planned area but the Chinese rocket behaved otherwise raising fears it would end up raining debris in populated areas.