In Southeast Asia, several fragments of the large Chinese rocket that crashed on Earth over the weekend have been discovered.

On Saturday, July 30, a Long March 5B rocket's 25-ton (22.5 metric tons) core stage re-entered our atmosphere over the Indian Ocean and slammed into our surface. A large percentage of the booster survived the violent flight, scientists estimate, between 20 and 40 percent by weight, but the majority of it burnt up as it dropped.

And those leftover pieces are starting to appear. Locals claim to have found booster fragments along the reentry path, some of which are large enough to cause major harm or injury if they were to land on a city or village. Thankfully, it doesn't look like any of them did.

"So, CZ-5B recap: significant debris falls in Kalimantan, Indonesia and [Sarawak], Malaysia (both on Borneo). No casualties or property damage reported, but debris is near villages and a few hundred meters, either way, could have been a different story," astrophysicist and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said via Twitter today (Aug. 1).

On July 24, the Long March 5B launched, sending a fresh module in the direction of China's Tiangong space station, which is still being built. The core stage of the rocket launched the module into orbit before being dragged back to Earth over the course of the following six days by atmospheric drag.

This disposal method, a chaotic and unpredictable crash from orbit, is exclusive to large rockets. After launch, other substantial core stages are guided toward secure destruction in the sea or on an area of uninhabited land, or, in the case of SpaceX's Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy vehicles, they come to a vertical landing and are later reused.

Given the risk of harm and destruction it introduces with each launch, the Long March 5B scenario is unusual and contentious. In fact, a lot of people in the space world have chastised Chinese space officials for allowing the Long March 5B cores to end up as large pieces of space debris on all three of the rocket's so far missions.

The Ivory Coast in West Africa received some debris rain from the first Long March 5B mission, which took place in May 2020. The second launched its rocket parts into the Indian Ocean in April 2021.

Another Long March 5B rocket fall won't be delayed for very long. This fall, most likely in October, the booster is anticipated to launch another module toward Tiangong.