BREAKING: Out-of-Control Russian Rocket Part Crashes to Earth
An out-of-control piece of a Russian rocket re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere, crashing back to earth over the Pacific Ocean.
“Persei reentry confirmed: 2108 UTC over 121W 14S in the South [Pacific],” tweeted astronomer and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell.
The Angara-A5 heavy-lift rocket launched from Russia’s Plesetsk spaceport on December 27. Most space debris burns up upon reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere, but larger parts can cause damage if they landed in inhabited regions.
According to US Space Command, the rocket reentered the Earth’s atmosphere at 2:08 pm MST over the Southern Pacific Ocean.
This isn’t the first time that space debris caused a concern. In May 2021, NASA criticized China for failing to “meet responsible standards” after part of an out-of-control rocket used to launch the country’s space station crashed into the Indian Ocean.
According to Holger Krag, the head of the European Space Agency’s Space Debris Office, the Russian debris is thought to be smaller than China’s. The Russian rocket part weighs roughly 4 tons without fuel, compares to 20 tons for the Chinese Long March 5B rocket, Kraig said.
Big hunk of failed Russian rocket crashes to Earth as space junk