The second stage of a Chinese rocket that launched three spy satellites has just broken up this week over Texas, according to the U.S. Naval Institute.
Here’s what the Chang Zheng “Long March” rocket looked like taking off from China in June.
The four-ton rocket reentered the atmosphere on Wednesday at 17,000 miles per hour and disintegrated, but it’s only being reported now. While they haven’t found any debris yet from the rocket stage, they’re saying the debris field could be miles wide and hundreds of miles long. It’s not clear what kind of a hazard this could pose, and the Chinese have had issues in the past with space debris like this.
A Pentagon spokesman acknowledged a request for information from USNI News on Thursday but did not immediately respond to questions. The Department of Defense did not issue a statement before the entrance into the atmosphere.
Based on the NORAD tracking data, the stage belonged to a mission that delivered three military electronic signals surveillance satellites that were meant to collect signals data from the South China Sea, astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics told USNI New on Thursday.
The rocket took off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on June 23 in central China.
China isn’t talking about its stage falling over Texas. But the rocket could carry up to 8,000 pounds of cargo. Is Biden going to have another talk with them? Or is this all cool, too?
That isn’t looking good, particularly after what happened with their spy balloon trying to surveil the country in February, which got shot down out of the sky after looking at our military installations for a week.