A large piece of a rocket landed on farms in western China.

The large chunk appears to belong to a Chinese Long March 2Drocket.

Images on the Weibo social network show what would be a large piece of rocket fallen from the sky in the northwestern province of Gansu, China .

According to the photographs, this huge piece would be part of a Long March 2D rocket that was launched this weekend.

Risk to people

In the images you can see a metal structure housed vertically on freshly tilled soil with a height of 6 to 8 meters.

According to initial investigations, the wreckage is believed to belong to the Long March 2D rocket used by China to launch the Shiyan-20C rocket, which will be used mainly for in-orbit verification of new technologies such as space environment monitoring.

Unlike rockets like SpaceX’s, Long Marches aren’t reusable, so they often end up falling off pieces that don’t burn up in the atmosphere on their re-entry to the planet.

Western officials have long criticized the practice, saying it’s not only environmentally damaging compared to reusable rocket parts , but also potentially dangerous to anyone living within the confines of the projected landing zones. .

It’s not the first time

Earlier this year, debris from a Long March 5B rocket burned up in the atmosphere and fell into the Indian and Pacific oceans.

In May 2020, pieces of a Chinese rocket hit and damaged property in Côte d’Ivoire. Then last year, more debris landed in the Indian Ocean, not far from the Maldives.

At the time, NASA administrator Bill Nelson accused China of “failing to meet responsible standards regarding its space debris.”