Home / Science / The Pentagon follows an uncontrolled Chinese rocket capable of re-entering Earth’s atmosphere.

The Pentagon follows an uncontrolled Chinese rocket capable of re-entering Earth’s atmosphere.



China’s Long March 5B rocket is expected to enter the global atmosphere. “Around May 8,” according to a statement by Defense Department spokesman Mike Howard, the US Space Command was tracking the rocket’s trajectory.

The rocket’s “point of entry to Earth’s atmosphere” could not be identified until it returned within hours, Howard said. But the 18th Space Control Squadron will provide daily updates on the rocket’s position via the Space Track website.The rocket was used by China to launch part of their space station last week. While most of the debris material burns in the atmosphere, the size of a rocket ̵
1; 22 tonnes, has raised concerns that larger fragments could re-enter and cause damage if they hit inhabited areas. are
But Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard Center for Astrophysics, told CNN the situation. “Not yet finished”

“I don’t think people should take this precaution. The risk of damaging or hitting someone is pretty low – not a little, it could happen – but the risk of hitting you is very, very unlikely.” believe So I don’t lose a second of sleep based on a personal threat, ”he said.

“There are a lot bigger things to worry about.”

China has succeeded in launching the first planned space station.

McDowell explains that determining where the debris can be headed is almost impossible now due to the speed at which the rocket is traveling – even with a small change in the situation drastically changed the trajectory.

“We expect it to be back in between May 8 and 10, and during those two days there will be 30 rounds of the world. This is traveling at 18,000 mph. When guessing when it lands, you’re 18,000 miles to say where. “

So you shouldn’t trust anyone who tells you ‘Oh yeah, I heard it came down to this particular place,’ added McDowell. “Don’t believe them for at least a few hours before coming back, because we won’t know in advance.”

Still, the ocean is still the safest bet for debris to land, he said, simply because it occupies most of the Earth’s surface.

“If you want to bet that something is going anywhere on the planet, you should bet on the Pacific, because the Pacific is a large part of the world.

Concerns about space debris arose after China launched the first module of the planned space station on Thursday morning from the Wenchang launch point in southern Hainan, according to the China National Space Administration.

China’s space stations will not launch at the same time. It will be assembled from various modules launched at different times. China’s state media reported that the country’s space station will be fully operational by the end of 2022.

CNN’s Katie Hunt contributed to this report.


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