The remains of a Chinese rocket that was travelling back towards Earth at great speed have crashed into the Indian Ocean. Most of the rocket was destroyed as it re-entered the atmosphere, but Chinese state media reported that parts of it landed just west of the Maldives on Sunday. People have been wondering for days where the rocket might land. US officials and other experts warned its return could have caused injuries. But China insisted the risk was low. Neil and Catherine give you the vocabulary to talk about this news story.

Video chapters:
0:00​​​​​​​​​​​​ – Introduction
0:34​ – Story
1:43 – Headline 1: China-US tensions move to space as rocket debris heads for Earth
4:45 – Headline 2: China blames the US for hyping fears of uncontrolled rocket reentry as space race heats up
7:23​ – Headline 3: China ‘wins gamble’ after space rocket debris crash lands in Indian Ocean
10:04​​​​​​​​​​​​ – Language summary

The story
Weighing 18 tonnes and travelling at over 17,000 miles per hour, identifying exactly where the Long March-5b rocket would make landfall proved almost impossible until the last minute.

Amid accusations of negligence, Chinese experts had asserted that the debris would likely land in the ocean. And ultimately, they were proved right.

Key words and phrases

broken pieces of something larger

After the storm there was debris all over the streets.
Rescuers looking for a lost ship have found some debris.

heats up
becomes more extreme

The rivalry between the teams heated up when one accused the other of cheating.
The situation between Carlos and Jitka is really heating up. They’ll start shouting at each other before long.

a plan that has both a risk of failure and chance of success

Changing careers in your 40s is a gamble, but it might pay off.
Some people think the best politicians are gamblers.

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