Aug 1, 2022
Video appears to show Chinese rocket debris burning up in atmosphere Transcript
Early videos surfaced on social media out of Malaysia showing what appear to be pieces of China’s most powerful rocket burning up on re-entry. Read the transcript here.
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Speaker 1: (00:00)
Tonight, this video appears to show Chinese space debris apparently re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere, crashing into the Indian ocean. The social media post out of Malaysia showing fireballs what may be pieces of China’s most powerful rocket burning up on re-entry.
Speaker 1: (00:17)
[Foreign language 00:00:17].
Speaker 1: (00:18)
The rocket, which launched last week, was taking a new scientific lab up to China’s space station. But once delivered, the rocket was in free fall, traveling more than 17,000 miles an hour once in earths orbit, hurtling towards, well, all of us.
Speaker 2: (00:33)
It’s moving very fast. And so what that means in trying to predict where it’s going to come down is that if we wait just a minute or two, it’s moved hundreds of miles. And our predictions always have about 20% error. Our last prediction was plus or minus an hour. And if you think about that for a 90 minute orbit, that’s more than once around the whole planet.
Speaker 3: (00:57)
Right. So it either hits me or it hits someone in Beijing.
Speaker 1: (01:00)
When launched, the rocket weighed some 23 tons and it was the height of a 10-story building.
Speaker 3: (01:05)
How big are the chunks? What are we talking about? Are we talking the size of an SUV? Or are we talking kind of gravelly? Or are we talking a whole spectrum?
Speaker 2: (01:12)
Well, we’re talking a whole spectrum.
Speaker 1: (01:15)
The Chinese foreign ministry said the risk to the general public was low, which it is relatively. But in a statement today, NASA criticized China for the lack of transparency, saying sharing information is vital to ensure the safety of people here on earth. Allowing rockets to return home uncontrolled doesn’t break any laws, but it’s bad behavior. Molly Hunter, NBC News, London.
Speaker 4: (01:42)
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