Vancouver Sun

CHINA `WINS GAMBLE' AS ROCKET REMNANTS LAND IN SEA

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Debris from a Chinese rocket booster landed in the Indian Ocean Sunday in one of the largest uncontroll­ed re-entries of a spacecraft in history.

Remnants of the Long March 5B were seen overhead in Jordan, Oman and Saudi Arabia before landing in the sea near the Maldives at about 2.30 a.m.

China's space agency said that most of the core section of the rocket burned up on re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere but NASA has criticized the organizati­on for “failing to meet responsibl­e standards” of space safety.

The news ended days of speculatio­n about where debris from the 21-ton core section of the rocket would land.

Chinese state media had dismissed as “Western hype” worries that it was out of control and could cause damage.

“It appears China won its gamble ... but it was still reckless,” tweeted Jonathan McDowell, a Harvard University astrophysi­cist.

The Long March 5B's first launch in May last year also ended with an uncontroll­ed re-entry, passing over the U.S. and landing in the Atlantic Ocean off West Africa, with remnants damaging several buildings in the Ivory Coast.

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