The Chinese rocket named ‘Long March 5B’ was launched from China’s Hainan Island on April 29, carrying the major module of China’s International Space Station towards the Earth’s lower orbit. After a few days of its launch, it went uncontrolled, and now, the rocket is falling back to earth. Though it is clear that debris will fall this week on Sunday, it’s not clear at what place it is about to fall on earth. The rocket debris weighs about 18 tons and is the largest object to fall uncontrolled in the earth’s atmosphere in decades.
Not only China but the US space agency NASA is also keeping an eye on it.
On Thursday, the US said that it is keeping an eye on this rocket but currently has no plans to destroy it. Speaking on the same, US Defence Minister Lloyd Austin said, “We hope it falls into a place where no one is harmed. Hopefully at sea or somewhere like that.”
How long will it take to fall on the earth?
Many experts working on space waste say that this rocket is likely to reach Earth by Sunday. However, in such cases, nothing can be said with certainty. Long March-4B has been steadily falling since its launch on 29 April. How fast the rocket debris falls down depends on the density and stretch of air at altitude. But, there is no information of all this at the moment.
Usually, rocket debris burns when it enters the Earth’s atmosphere. However, there is a possibility of escaping some part of it that reaches the surface of the earth. Usually, these pieces are very small. A year ago, similar pipe-shaped rocket debris had fallen on the Ivory Coast of Africa.
The chance of falling the rocket debris on earth in the human living area is very less. The reason for this is not only the water in most of the earth but it is because a large part of the earth is uninhabited.
Our latest prediction for CZ-5B rocket body reentry is:
🚀09 May 2021 03:43 UTC ± 16 hours
Reentry will be along one of the ground tracks shown here. It is still too early to determine a meaningful debris footprint. Follow this page for updates: https://t.co/p2AU9zE3y2 pic.twitter.com/MgzRAOTJnk
— The Aerospace Corporation (@AerospaceCorp) May 6, 2021
China has denied the western report of negligence
The Chinese media has denied the western report of negligence, saying that the rocket was damaged by the space wreckage. At the same time, it is expected that the rocket will fall somewhere in the international sea.
China’s official newspaper Global Times quoted atmospheric expert Song Zonping as saying that China’s space monitoring network would closely monitor it and take necessary measures to damage it.