(ORDO NEWS) — Two specialists from the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) studied space debris that fell on April 2 in a rural area in central India, near the city of Sindevahi.
According to their reports, they were able to tentatively identify these objects, including a large charred metal ring, as parts of a Chinese Long March (Long March) rocket. The official investigation will continue, writes Space News.
It is reported that the diameter of the metal ring is 2-3 m, it weighs over 40 kg, the height of the cylindrical object is about half a meter. American expert Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics also said that the ring corresponds to one of the parts of the Chinese Long March-3B rocket.
China has so far remained silent on the incident. “They [two ISRO scientists] took pictures and videotaped the objects and talked to the people of Ladbori village,” said local activist Suresh Chopne in an interview with the Indian English-language newspaper Hindustan Times.
They said that these objects are most likely space debris – parts of the Chinese Long March rocket. What kind of fuel was contained in this cylinder, it will be possible to say only after all this is checked in the laboratory.
“We were preparing a festive mass feast when a red disk flashed in the sky, which fell with a roar onto a free area in the village,” said a villager. “People ran to their houses, fearing an explosion, and did not dare to leave for another half an hour.”
There have been no reports of casualties or serious property damage yet, but NASA has repeatedly criticized China for “failing to meet responsible space debris standards.” If the origin of the debris is confirmed, it would be the second time in less than a year that debris from a Chinese rocket suddenly fell to the ground.
The previous one occurred in May 2021, when a fragment of the first stage of the Chinese Long March-5B rocket, 30 meters long and 5 meters thick, fell into the Indian Ocean after China remained silent for many days, not responding to a request to indicate the area where the debris fell.
A year earlier, fragments of another Long March 5B crashed into two villages in Côte d’Ivoire after an uncontrolled re-entry of the rocket’s main stage. In November 2019, a spent Long March 3B stage crashed near the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China, destroying a house.
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