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NZ was only within 24 minutes from rocket debris impact

Chinese rocket debris brief summary.


China on 29 April 2021 launched a CZ-5B rocket for its core module to the new Space Station Tianhe-1 ("Harmony of Heavens-1"). The rocket 31 meters long, 5 meters in diameter, and very heavy at between 17 and 22 tons. The rocket was not de-orbited after the payload release which meant it was going to re-enter the earth atmosphere as an uncontrolled entry. This occurred yesterday, Sunday 9th May from 2:14pm NZT until the splash down of 2:24pm NZT around the Maldives.


Rocket re-entry map courtesy of Dr Marco Langbroek

Within minutes of the re-entry, the rocket passed over the city of Riyahd in Saoudi-Arabia and was captured on footage moving over Oman before travelling to its splash down area around the Maldives.


Rocket re-entry over Oman

The orbit band that the rocket was taking would have meant a re-entry impact on New Zealand occurring between 2:48pm to 2:50pm NZT within the corridor path between Nelson, Wellington, Palmerston North, Whanganui and Hawkes Bay.


Future flight path over NZ at 2:48pm to 2:50pm NZT 9th May.

NASA’s administrator Bill Nelson issued a statement quoting “It is clear China is failing to meet responsible standard regarding their space debris”



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