Debris came from a capsule launched by China late last month. There has been speculation about where the debris will land, but experts predict the chances of death and injury are slim.
Debris from a Chinese rocket fell to the ground on Sunday and confounded over the Indian Ocean, state media reported.
The report cited China’s Office of Manned Space Engineering, saying the impact point was in India and southwestern Sri Lanka.
“After monitoring and analysis, at 10:24 (0224 GMT) on May 9, 2021, the last-stage wreckage of the Long March 5B Yao-2 launch vehicle has re-entered the atmosphere,” it said in a statement.
The fragments from the Long March-5b rocket that was used to launch the first module of China’s new space station last month.
Weighing 18 tons, it is one of the largest objects in recent decades and has suffered an uncontrolled re-entry into the atmosphere.
There has been intense speculation about where it will land, but since there is almost 70% ground water, the chances of hitting a densely populated area are slim.
Last year, debris from a rocket landed in a town in Ivory Coast, but someone died.
In 1979, NASA’s unfortunate Skylab debris fell again and landed in Western Australia, but no one was injured.
What did NASA say?
NASA has criticized China for its lack of transparency, accusing it of irresponsibly re-entering such a large object and endangering damage and loss of life.
“It is clear that China does not meet the standards responsible for space debris,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement.
“It is vital that China and all nations and space trade entities take responsible and transparent action in space to ensure long-term security, stability, security and sustainability of space activities,” he said.
“Flying hundreds of miles an hour to Earth is not a good idea, and China needs to redesign the March 5b long mission to prevent this,” Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at Harvard University’s Center for Astrophysics told AFP.
China calls West “hypothetical”
However, Beijing has attacked criticism of its space program as “hypothetical” by the West.
The pro-Beijing global times newspaper has invoked it: “Every time hostile forces see technological progress in China, they use this old trick because they are nervous.”
The long March 5B missile took off from China’s Jiang Island on April 29.
This module carries the Tianhe module, which will serve as a residential area for three astronauts against China’s Permanent Space Station.
The Tianhe launch was the first of 11 missions needed to complete the space station.