Out-of-control Chinese rocket threatens Earth: expected to crash this Friday or Saturday

Chinese rocket Long March 5 rolling out at WSLS

Chinese rocket Long March 5 rolling out at WSLS. Photo: Xiaojun Wang, China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology. CC BY 4.0.




On October 31, China launched one of its Long March 5B rockets from the Wenchang Space Launch Center (Hainan). With this launch, they sent the third and last module to the Chinese space station Tiangong: Mengtian. Now, the rocket has to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere.

According to estimates from The Aerospace Corporation, the 21-metric-ton Long March 5B core stage will return to the atmosphere on 04 Nov 2022 23:17 UTC ± 10 hours. At this time, it is not known where this part of the rocket will fall and if it will threaten any human life or property.

Time of impact predictions are updated through the official account of The Aerospace Corporation. Its data are based on the analysis of information collected by the U.S. Space Surveillance Network of the U.S. Space Force and may vary.

This is the fourth time that a piece of a Chinese Long March 5B rocket has entered the Earth in an uncontrolled manner. Although it is not the first time, China seems to have not yet solved this risk they take with their launches, leaving the landing site to chance.

On other occasions, when a Long March 5B core stage has re-entered the atmosphere in an uncontrolled manner, no deaths or injuries have occurred. They landed in an inhabited area off the west coast of Africa, in the Indian Ocean and in northern Borneo (Asia). Although there has been no human damage as yet, scientists fear that this could happen sooner or later if no action is taken.

-Thailand News (TN)



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