Minister: Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry despatches team to probe rocket fragment find in Sarawak


Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba — Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 1): The Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (Mosti) has sent a special team to study the report of a resident in Pekan Sepupok Lama, Niah, Sarawak on a debris found in the area, said its minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

This followed the discovery of a fragment from the re-entry debris of Long March 5B which was detected at 12.55am (July 31) around Sulu Sea.

He said the team comprised the Space Division, Malaysian Space Agency (MYSA) and the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) would among others cooperate with Miri district police headquarters to conduct an investigation on the report.

“So far, AELB and the Hazardous Material (Hazmat) team have gone to the location to inspect the object.

“MYSA team and the Space Division will follow up on the confirmation. The ministry will report on the finding shortly,” he told reporters after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Graphjet Technology Sdn Bhd with Toyoda Trike Corporation and Asia Development Capital Ltd here.

Also present was the director-general of MYSA Azlikamil Napiah who explained the fragment is a component of the carrier rocket Long March 5B launched in China on July 24.

“…So when the module has been released in space, the residue component would orbit and fall back to earth, disintegrating as it entered the atmosphere into fragments when crossing the country’s airspace,” he said.

Adham also advised the people to be calm and not to be worried during the investigation as well as not to approach the object location.

Yesterday, a video recording of the suspected rocket debris went viral on social media in Kuching Sarawak.

MYSA was reported as saying the rocket fragments would burn up before entering earth’s space.

According to the agency, the fragment also crossed the country’s airspace and was detected in several areas including Sarawak airspace. — Bernama