The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) confirms the launch of the Long March 3B rocket of the People’s Republic of China. Expected debris from the rocket launch was projected to have fallen within the identified drop zones approximately 68 NM away from Rozul Reef and 116 NM away from Ayungin Shoal.  

Long March 3B was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan, China around 11:26 AM PhST on 26 December 2023. 

Details of the rocket drop zone were disclosed through a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) warning of an “aerospace flight activity.” PhilSA has disseminated a pre-launch report to relevant government agencies and authorities prior to the launch. 

Estimated drop zones of the Long March 3B Launch

Following the launch, PhilSA advises on the potential risks that may incur to ships, fishing boats, and other vessels that will pass through the drop zone of the debris. There is still the possibility that the remaining rocket debris may float around the area and may wash toward the nearby coasts in the future.   

PhilSA informs the public to contact local authorities if suspected debris is sighted. PhilSA also cautions against retrieving or coming in close contact with these materials that may contain remnants of toxic substances such as rocket fuel.