Out-of-control Chinese rocket crash lands in Indian Ocean as 'debris lights up the night sky over Malaysia' | The Sun

AN out-of-control Chinese rocket has crash-landed in the Indian Ocean as debris "lit up the night sky over Malaysia".

US Space Commanded confirmed the rocket re-entered over the Indian Ocean at 5.45pm BST.

In a tweet, the space agency said: "USSPACECOM can confirm the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Long March 5B (CZ-5B) re-entered over the Indian Ocean at approx 10:45 am MDT on 7/30.

"We refer you to the #PRC for further details on the re-entry’s technical aspects such as potential debris dispersal+ impact location."

Chinese officials are yet to confirm the exact details of the crash.

It comes as incredible footage alleged to show the spacecraft disintegrating over Kuching in Sarawak, Malaysia.

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It's believed debris landed in the Indian Ocean but may have also struck the Malaysian town of Bintulu.

Astronomer Jonathan McDowell tweeted: "Now Space Force has confirmed decay at 1651 UTC approx 113E 3 N (Bintulu, Sarawak).

"(When they give +- 1 min, they say 'projected' but they mean 'we saw it')."

Experts had tried to plot the trajectory of the massive rocket as it made an unpredictable re-entry.

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The Aerospace Corporation explained in a graphic that re-entry could have occurred anywhere along two trajectories.

In one possible path, seen on the yellow line above, the rocket would first appear over the Indian Ocean before sweeping south below South Africa and across the southern Atlantic Ocean and heading up towards Brazil and close to the city of Sao Paolo, which has a population of more than 12.3m.

It would then sweep north-westerly across South America up along the western coast of Mexico and the US passing close to both San Diego, with a population of around 1.4m people, and Los Angeles, where nearly 4m people live.

It is then expected to veer off into the Pacific Ocean.

In the other, blue line, the rocket could sweep in across the Far East, past Japan, where almost 126m people live, before heading south and passing over countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia before crossing the Indian Ocean, heading south of South Africa and then ending up in the southern Atlantic Ocean.

The Beijing government said earlier this week the rocked posed little risk to anyone on the ground.

The Long March 5B rocket blasted off on Sunday to deliver a laboratory module to the new Chinese space station under construction in orbit.

It marked the third flight of China's most powerful rocket since its maiden launch in 2020.

As occurred during its first two flights, the rocket's entire main-core stage – which is 100 feet (30 metres) long and weighs 22 tons (about 48,500 lb) – has already reached low orbit.

The rocket body disintegrated as it plunged through the atmosphere.

It is large enough that numerous chunks could likely survive a fiery re-entry to rain debris over an area some 2,000 km (1,240 miles) long by about 70 km (44 miles) wide, independent U.S.-based analysts said on Wednesday.

The overall risk to people and property on the ground is fairly low, Aerospace analyst Ted Muelhaupt told reporters in a news briefing.

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That's because 75 per cent of Earth's surface in the potential path of debris is water, desert or jungle.

Nevertheless, the possibility exists for pieces of the rocket to come down over a populated area.

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