• There was only a 0.3-second window to capture snaps of the space junk
  • The uncontrolled space debris weighing 22.5 tons is flying at thousands of miles per second
  • The debris is the first stage of Long March 5 rocket launched Monday

The debris of a Chinese spacecraft is poised for an uncontrolled reentry into earth's atmosphere this weekend and an Australian in-orbit satellite has managed to capture photos as it descends.

The spacecraft named Long March 5 rocket was launched Monday and is being monitored by global space operations ever since.

The Australian company High Earth Orbit (HEO) Robotics captured four images of the big space junk which it tweeted on Wednesday. The images were captured using an optical imaging satellite from Argentina-based firm Satellogic.

The uncontrolled space debris flying at thousands of miles per second weighs 22.5 tons, according to Cosmos.

It was a stroke of luck that the images were captured in time. There was a 0.3-second window to take snaps of the junk, the outlet reported. The deviation of even a small fraction of a second could have ruined the opportunity.

"We're very fortunate that the snap captured exactly where the rocket body was and captured four image frames," HEO's Dane Brumm said, as per the outlet.

The Long March 5B rocket has successfully carried the Mengtian module to China's Tiangong space station, reported. The large first stage of the rocket was also put into orbit, as has been the case with previous Long March 5B missions. However, this is unusual when it comes to orbital rockets.

Generally, the first stages of orbital rockets are designed to fall into the ocean or over unpopulated land shortly after launch. In the case of SpaceX vehicles, the first stages come down to vertical landings for future reuse.

"Space traffic as a field is still very young," Jason Held, CEO of Saber Astronautics – the company behind the Mission Control center at Australian Space Agency's headquarters in Adelaide, said. "Think of it like how air traffic control was in 1922 – a lot of barnstorming biplanes and maybe some regional airstrip control but no global system. This is what Saber is building. We see sensor providers like HEO Robotics as critical parts of that infrastructure."

These space-to-space images reveal a lot about the target object.

"If you get a really good image to enhance and depending on how close we actually can get to an object, we're able to see anomalies in it," Brumm said. "So you can do damage assessments, determine an object's rotation, verify orbits. Even small things like if various solar panels are correctly deployed."

A Chinese spaceplane, an airplane-spacecraft hybrid, was reported to have released an unknown object into low-earth orbit sometime between Oct. 24 and 30. On Monday, the United States Space Force's 18th Space Defense Squadron monitored an object in a similar orbit to China's spaceplane, according to SpaceNews.

The object was officially added to the database on Oct. 31, based on a tweet by Robert Christy from Orbital Focus.

Dark Knight Satellite
Detail of NASA photo id STS088-724-66 taken during Space Shuttle mission STS-88, described as showing an item of "space debris", an object claimed by conspiracy theorists to be an alien satellite, the Black Knight. NASA