Remnants of China’s biggest rocket landed in the Indian Ocean on Sunday.
There were speculations that it could land in some places, including Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.
But after it landed in the ocean, most of its components were destroyed.
In a statement, China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) said the Long March 5B rocket re-entered the atmosphere at 10:24am Beijing time.
“The vast majority of the device burned up during the reentry, and the landing area of the debris is around a sea area with the center at 2.65 degrees north latitude and 72.47 degrees east longitude,” the statement said.
Debris from the Long March 5B has had some people looking warily skyward since it blasted off from China’s Hainan island on April 29, but the China Manned Space Engineering Office said most of the debris was burnt up in the atmosphere.
The U.S. Space command confirmed the re-entry of the rocket over the Arabian Peninsula, but said it was unknown if the debris impacted land or water.
“The exact location of the impact and the span of debris, both of which are unknown at this time, will not be released by U.S. Space Command,” it said in a statement on its website.
The Long March was the second deployment of the 5B variant since its maiden flight in May 2020.
Last year, pieces from the first Long March 5B fell on Ivory Coast, damaging several buildings. No injuries were reported.
“Spacefaring nations must minimize the risks to people and property on Earth of re-entries of space objects and maximize transparency regarding those operations,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, a former senator and astronaut who was picked for the role in March, said in a statement after the re-entry.
“It is clear that China is failing to meet responsible standards regarding their space debris.”
With most of the Earth’s surface covered by water, the odds of populated area on land being hit had been low, and the likelihood of injuries even lower, according to experts.