NASA leader Bill Nelson slammed China over the weekend as the world nervously waited for a free-falling Chinese rocket to hit the Earth.
China launched a huge rocket on April 29 to start building its Space Station. The spacecraft had one core module and four boosters.
One of those boosters — which was around 10 stories tall and was 23 tons — was scheduled for reentry this Saturday. Falling boosters is a common thing in the space business. But what was uncommon about this was that Chinese officials did not know when or where the rocket would crash, putting a lot of the world on high alert.
NASA’s Nelson put out a statement saying the Chinese space agency was irresponsible.
“Spacefaring countries should minimize the risks to humans and maximize transparency about those operations,” Nelson said. “China is clearly not meeting responsible standards in their handling of space debris.”
“It is crucial that China and all spacefaring counties act responsibly in space to guarantee the safety and sustainability of outer space travel,” he said.
The debris finally landed in the Indian Ocean, according to Chinese media.
Harvard’s Jonathan McDowell said that Chinese officials were “reckless.”
“A crash into the ocean was statistically the most likely. China won a big gamble. But it was still reckless,” McDowell said.
An ocean reentry was always statistically the most likely. It appears China won its gamble (unless we get news of debris in the Maldives). But it was still reckless
— Jonathan McDowell (@planet4589) May 9, 2021
Author: Blake Ambrose