Debris from a Long March 7 carrier rocket fell into the Southern Pacific Ocean on Tuesday afternoon according to the China Manned Space Agency.
According to analysis of tracking data, most of the debris burned out during the atmospheric re-entry that started around 4:49 pm, the agency said in a brief statement.
A Chinese Long March (Chang Zheng) CZ-7 rocket launched the second Tianzhou (TZ-2) cargo craft for docking with the Tianhe module of the Chinese Space Station (CSS). The Tianzhou (u5929u821f or “heavenly vessel”) craft will carry onboard 3 months of personal supply for 3 astronauts, 2 EVA suits and various equipment to be installed on the exterior of Tianhe. Total cargo mass is 6.64 tonnes including 4.69 tonnes of upward bound cargo and 1.95 tonnes of propellant, to be transferred to the station module.
China has a history of irresponsible rocket launches. Including a rocket booster that fell on a town in Guizhou Province in 2018. No reports of how many were actually hurt or how much property was damaged came out of the Chinese News Agencies or government.
Booster reentry isn’t an exact science, there are forces acting against the rocket as it crashes back toward Earth. Solar wind, atmospheric particles and even sunlight can push the rocket hundreds of miles off course and send it plummeting into cities or towns occupied by hundreds or thousands of people.
According to NORAD the rocket booster will crash somewhere off the East Coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean some time on June 15th 2021.
The Long March 7 or Chang Zheng 7 in pinyin, abbreviated LM-7 for export or CZ-7 within China, originally Long March 2F/H or Chang Zheng 2F/H, nicknamed Bingjian ( ‘the Ice Arrow’), is a Chinese liquid-fuelled launch vehicle of the Long March family, developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CAST). It made its inaugural flight on 25 June 2016.
The vehicle is fueled by Kerosene and LOX and features a 3.35 m core with two YF-100 engines. The stage 2 has the same diameter and uses the same fuels. The vehicle can be augmented by two or four 2.25 m boosters, each also powered by an YF-100 engine. A cryogenic upper stage is also available for high energy orbits.
Designed as a replacement of the Long March 2F, Long March 7 and its variants are expected to be the workhorse of the fleet, eventually accounting for around 70% of all Chinese launches. Long March 7 will also play a critical role in the Chinese Space Station. It was used to launch the Tianzhou robotic cargo spacecraft, and will eventually replace the Long March 2F as China’s crew-rated launch vehicle.
Since 2020, in addition to the base Long March 7 configuration, there is the Long March 7A (CZ-7A etc.) variant which differs from the base CZ-7 by the addition of a liquid hydrogen-liquid oxygen third stage inherited from the third stage of the Long March 3B.