Chinese rocket debris reportedly disintegrates over Czech airspace

Citizens of the Czech Republic and Poland spotted what was reportedly the remnants of a Chinese CZ-2D rocket in the early hours of Friday morning. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 24.06.2023 09:59:00 (updated on 24.06.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The remnants of a Chinese rocket reportedly disintegrated over the Czech Republic and Poland during the early hours of Friday morning, according to reports from the Polish Space Agency and the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences.

The Chinese Long March 2D rocket disintegrated during an uncontrolled return to orbit, leaving a visible trail that crossed from the Czech Republic into Poland. According to officials from both countries, the rocket posed no danger to civilians on the ground.

Images of the event were captured by concerned citizens and published to social media, including a video originally published to the YouTube channel Slavic Reality.

"If it was remains or fragments of the satellite or its engine, there is no way to detect them due to their size, reflective surface, and other parameters," Vlastimila Cyprisová, a spokesperson for the Army of the Czech Republic, told

Army radar can track objects up to about a height of 20 kilometers above ground level, indicating the rocket was high enough above Czech airspace to avoid detection.

The Czech Republic's air traffic control services also reported no incident associated with the rocket. Civilian planes typically fly up to a maximum height of about 13 kilometers above ground level.

"No extraordinary event was recorded in association with this phenomenon," Richard Klíma, a spokesman for Air Navigation Services of the Czech Republic, told

"A large meteor flew across the sky shortly after midnight today (at around 0:10 a.m.)," reads a report filed on the website of the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences.

"It flew across the sky at high speed, burning up and forming a brightly-shining long line for probably 10 to 20 seconds. At the end of the flight, almost out of our field of vision, it split into several pieces. It left behind highly visible 'smoke' that remained in the sky for several more minutes."

This isn't the first time that a Chinese rocket has caused concern after re-entering the Earth's orbit. Last July, a much larger (25-ton) Long March 5B rocket crashed above the Indian Ocean after a short but controversial flight.

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