The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) is closely monitoring debris from a Long March 7 rocket that was launched on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Wenchang, Hainan.

PhilSA stated that unburned rocket debris is believed to have fallen within three drop zone locations situated between 65 and 79 kilometers from Bajo de Masinloc.

While the debris is unlikely to have landed on any inhabited areas or land features in the Philippines, there is a possibility that it may float around the area or wash up on nearby coasts.

As a precaution, PhilSA has informed relevant government authorities of the hazards of falling debris to ships, aircraft, fishing boats, and other vessels that may transit drop zone areas.

The drop zone areas were identified through coordination with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), which received a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) regarding the aerospace flight activity. The agency has been closely monitoring the situation to ensure that any potential risks to public safety are minimized.

In case of debris sighting, PhilSA advises the public to immediately inform local authorities for appropriate action, and avoid retrieving the debris. Rocket debris that may contain remnants of toxic substances such as rocket fuel. In cases when contact with debris is unavoidable, personnel protective equipment (PPE) is recommended.

The launch of the Long March 7 rocket is part of China’s ongoing efforts to further its space exploration program.

PhilSA said it will continue to monitor the possible re-entry of the rocket’s upper stages to Earth’s atmosphere.