China defends handling of rocket that fell to Earth

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BEIJING (AP) — China is defending its handling of a rocket booster that burned up over the Indian Ocean and says it is unfairly being held to different standards than the U.S. and other space programs. The administrator of the American space agency and others accused Beijing of acting recklessly by allowing its rocket to fall to Earth seemingly uncontrolled after carrying a space station into orbit. The Chinese space agency says most of the 30-meter-long (100-foot-long) main stage of the Long March 5B rocket burned up above the Maldives. A Foreign Ministry spokesperson says Beijing tracked the rocket’s trajectory and issued regulator updates, and there was “no report of harm on the ground.”

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