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Spain reopens areas in its airspace after Chinese missile alert

Spain reopens areas in its airspace after Chinese missile alert

(CNN) – On Friday, Spain reopened the areas of its airspace that were closed due to the possible fall of a Chinese space missile.

The emergency center in Catalonia said in Twitter that the National Emergency Center has informed him that all airspace restrictions associated with the passage of the CZ-5B space object have been lifted.

Earlier, air traffic controllers in Spain reported that due to the possible fall of a Chinese missile in the European country, the airspace at the airports of Catalonia, as well as the Balearic Islands, Aragon and Navarra, was closed.

The airspace closure was expected to last at least an hour while part of the Chinese missile passes through orbit near these areas in Spain.

according to bulletin From the European Union’s Aviation Safety Agency, he warned that a portion of the Long March 5B (CZ-5B) space rocket, which was launched on October 31, 2022, may return to Earth’s atmosphere.

A Long March 5B rocket, carrying China’s Mengtian Science Module, the final unit of the Tiangong Space Station, lifts off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in southern China’s Hainan Province on Oct. 31, 2022. (Photo by – / CNS/AFP via Getty Images)

The mass is estimated at between 17 and 23 tons, the agency said, “making it one of the largest pieces of debris that has re-entered the atmosphere in recent years.”

last year, Chinese missile out of control The Chinese space agency said the rocket fell from orbit in late May.

Most of the rocket was “destroyed” upon re-entry, the space agency said.

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This rocket, which was about 30 meters long and weighed about 22 tons, launched a piece of a new Chinese space station into orbit on April 29, 2021. After running out of fuel, the rocket was shot down uncontrollably by space until Earth’s gravity pulled it back to Earth .

In general, the international space community tries to avoid such scenarios. Most rockets used to lift satellites and other objects into space make more controlled reentries that point to the ocean, or stay in so-called “graveyard” orbits that keep them in space for decades or centuries.

But Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at Harvard’s Center for Astrophysics, said at the time that the Long March rocket was designed in a way that “leaves large chunks in a low orbit.”

With information from Jackie Wattles and Paul LeBlanc

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