space exploration

Debris recovered in Bataan likely from Chinese rocket – PH Space Agency

James Patrick Cruz

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Debris recovered in Bataan likely from Chinese rocket – PH Space Agency

Philippine Coast Guard recovers a rocket debris in Bataan waters on June 5, 2023

Philippine Coast Guard

The Philippine Space Agency says the debris was 'highly likely' to have been part of the Long March 7 rocket, which was launched from China

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) said on Friday, June 9, that the debris found in waters off Morong, Bataan earlier this week is suspected to be from a Chinese rocket.

PhilSa said the debris, recovered on Monday morning, June 5, was “highly likely” to have been part of the Long March 7 rocket. This rocket was launched from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Wenchang, Hainan on May 11.

The agency said the unburned debris, designed to separate from the rocket before it entered outer space, was estimated to have fallen in three drop zones that are approximately 65 to 79 kilometers from Scarborough Shoal.

CHINA’S ROCKET. The map shows the estimated drop zones for Long March 7

Scarborough Shoal, known as Panatag Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc, is located 124 nautical miles from the nearest coast of Luzon. The seascape falls within the Philippines’ 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone.

“The proximity of the launch date to the time the debris was found, as well as the proximity of the projected drop zones to the location where the debris was sighted, and the wind direction around the time of the launch until earlier this month, indicate this possibility,” PhilSA said.

PhilSA reminded the public to stay away from rocket debris that may contain toxic substances such as rocket fuel. The agency also warned against tinkering or breaking the metal object apart.

The agency advised the public to immediately contact local authorities should they find rocket debris. It also recommended the use of personnel protective equipment in cases when contact with debris is unavoidable.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Coast Guard said in an interview that it is coordinating with Beijing’s embassy in Manila. –

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