China doesn’t really try to do controlled re-entries of its rockets which leads to parts of them crashing down on Earth with no one knowing where they will land. The recent Shenzhou-12 launch on June 16 was mostly the same. The mission itself was successful and launched three astronauts into orbit.
A video has now been posted online that showed part of the rocket lying in the middle of the field. The part in question was a rocket booster and it was leaking something called nitrogen tetroxide. The video was shared on Twitter as well while people criticized China on yet another dangerous launch which led to falling rocket debris. You can view the video below.
According to a post on the Chinese social media site, Weibo, the rocket landed in Ordos. The post said that “On June 17, according to the “Ordos Daily” report, at 9:30, the debris of the Shenzhou 12 rocket booster fell into the territory of Otuoke Banner, Ordos. Otuoke Banner established a search headquarters to carry out a search for boosters and core-level debris”. Ordos is a highland basin in China. Also bear in mind that I googled translated the Weibo post so some detail may have been lost in translation.
The post further explained that temporary traffic control was put in place on some roads and some residents had to evacuate to safer areas as the rocket was leaking nitrogen tetroxide. “As of 13:00, all the wreckage of the booster has been found, and the recovery and transportation of the wreckage are being organized”.
The news seems legit as China is known for its rocket debris falling back uncontrolled to Earth. Their launch was successful, transporting three astronauts to China’s very own Space Station or at least the first module of it. The Space Station is called Tiangong which means Heavenly Palace, a fitting name if you ask me.
Congratulations to China for their successful launch but it would be appreciated if they took a page from companies like SpaceX to have engineered rocket boosters to make a controlled landing.