NASA blasts China over rocket’s risky fall to Earth

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NASA officials blasted China for “failing to meet responsible standards” after debris from the malfunctioning Long March 5B rocket came crashing down to earth over the weekend.

Bill Nelson, the administrator of the US space agency, said in a statement that the Chinese spacecraft created unnecessary risks after portions of the rocket crashed into the Indian Ocean near the Maldives.

“Spacefaring nations must minimize the risks to people and property on Earth of re-entries of space objects and maximize transparency regarding those operations,” Nelson said in the statement on NASA’s Twitter page.

“It is clear that China is failing to meet responsible standards regarding their space debris,” he said. “It is critical that China and all spacefaring nations and commercial entities act responsibly and transparently in space to ensure the safety, stability, security, and long-term sustainability of outer space activities.”

The massive out-of-control rocket, launched on April 29, carried the first module for a future space station planned by Chinese officials.

However, the rocket malfunctioned and spun into an uncontrolled descent, raising fears that debris could fall on populated areas and cause severe damage or deaths.

According to China’s official Xinhua News Agency, the vessel re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere shortly before 10:30 a.m., Beijing time, on Sunday, Fox News reported.

“The vast majority of items were burned beyond recognition during the reentry process,” the news agency said.

No casualties or property damage has been reported.

Last year, debris from another Long March 5B rocket that came crashing down to Earth landed in the Atlantic Ocean — until now the largest chunk of space junk hit the planet.

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