The second stage of a Chinese rocket that delivered a trio of military surveillance satellites to space in June disintegrated over Texas on Wednesday, USNI News has learned.
The four-ton component of a Chang Zheng 2D ‘Long March’ rocket punched through the atmosphere on Wednesday over Texas at 17,000 miles per hour and disintegrated, two defense officials confirmed to USNI News on Thursday.
U.S. military officials have yet to find any debris from the rocket stage, however, USNI News understands the debris field could be miles wide and several hundred miles long.
According to North American Aerospace Defense Command satellite tracking data, the stage was a piece of space junk in low Earth orbit before it made its unscheduled descent.
A Pentagon spokesman acknowledged a request for information from USNI News on Thursday but did not immediately respond to questions. The Department of Defense did not issue a statement prior to the entrance into the atmosphere.