China is not playing well with others.
After its Long March 5B rocket fell from orbit and crashed into the Indian Ocean, criticism rained down on China.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson was among the disappointed global parents who were not pleased with China’s behavior.
He just expected more from such an advanced country.
“Spacefaring nations must minimize the risks to people and property on Earth of re-entries of space objects and maximize transparency regarding those operations,” he said. “China is failing to meet responsible standards regarding their space debris.”
The China Manned Space Emergency Office announced debris landed just west of the Maldives, and damage to people and structures appears to have been avoided.
When “uncontrolled re-entry” is a primary description for a 10-story, 23 ton rocket headed for an unknown destination, though, it’s fair to call the situation “reckless.”
That’s the term used by Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who tracked the rocket, in a tweet about the Chinese.
The rocket orbited Earth last week at 18,000 miles an hour — once every 90 minutes — prior to re-entering Earth’s atmosphere. The rocket was launched April 29, sending part of China’s new space station into orbit.
Further criticism centered on the arrogance of Chinese space officials.
“It was negligent of them to design their rocket this way,” McDowell told CBS News.
“It leaves an enormous 20-ton rocket stage in a low orbit around the Earth … . We normally make sure they don’t go into orbit at all.”
What to do as global parents?
“It’s not going to be constructive just to yell at the Chinese,” McDowell said. “… There needs to be international discussions in the next few years about how to manage the new space age that we’re really in.”