Debris from the ship carrying the Beijing space station's Mengtian laboratory crashed into the sea, the US Department of Defense confirmed< /h2>
A Long March-5B Y4 rocket, carrying the Mengtian laboratory module for China's Tiangong space station, under construction, lifts off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in Hainan province, China, on October 31, 2022. China Daily via REUTERS
The remains of the rocket that transported the Mengtian laboratory of the Chinese space station and that fell to Earth in an uncontrolled manner have finally impacted the Pacific Ocean at 10:01 UTC (11:01 Spanish time), the United States Department of Defense has confirmed on social media. p>
Since the launch of the rocket, on October 31, USSPACECOM and the EU Space Surveillance and Tracking Operations network (EUSST) have been closely observing the re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere of part CZ-5B , the central part of the rocket that launched Mengtian (third and last module of the great Chinese modular space station).
After circling the Earth several times and flying over the Iberian Peninsula -which has forced theclosure of several Spanish airports– the object, weighing some 23 tons and nearly 30 meters long, has fallen into the Pacific Ocean.
The Barcelona airport was one of those that had to suspend all its operations, both departures and landings, during one hour from 09:19 am (08:19 GMT) this Friday as a result of the re-entry of the Chinese rocket into the atmosphere, which affected part of Spanish airspace.
An Easyjet plane approaches the Josep Tarradellas Barcelona – El Prat airport, near Barcelona, Spain, June 30, 2022. REUTERS/Albert Gea/File
Airport sources pointed out that the interruption of air traffic during this hour will cause delays throughout the day, although it is still early to predict how the situation will evolve.
The The suspension of air operations also affects other airports in the Spanish regions of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, Aragón and Navarra, according to the same sources.
The body Eurocontrol has reported the uncontrolled re-entry of a Chinese rocket into the atmosphere, forcing airspace restrictions that may affect traffic, in the form of ground delays and route diversions in flight, as reported by air traffic controllers on their Twitter account.
Yesterday, the Chinese space station completed the transposition movement of its Mengtian laboratory module, China's Manned Mission Space Agency (TMSA) reported.
(With information from EFE)