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20-metric booster from Chinese Rocket falling uncontrollably to Earth

The Long ‘March 5B’ Chinese Rocket launched its core module on the 29th of April, and now it’s set for an “uncontrolled reentry” back to Earth.

The gigantic rocket pictured below recently launched China’s first module for the Tianhe space Station. But worryingly, what goes up must come down.

Part of the rocket is falling back to Earth at 27,600km/h and could potentially fall back to Earth at an unknown location. Cool.

Chinese Rocket
Image: Guo Wenbin/Xinhua via AP

The Long March 5B Rocket released the core module, dubbed ‘Heavenly Harmony’ into Earth’s low orbit on April 29th from Wenchang, the Chinese County. This stage of the operation went smoothly enough; however, part of the Long March Rocket temporary found itself in orbit as well. When the booster hurdles back to Earth, it could land anywhere.

“Last time they launched a Long March 5B Rocket they ended up with big long rods of metal flying through the sky and damaging several buildings in the Ivory Coast”, commented Harvard University Astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell.

The CZ-5B core of this rocket is 20-metric tons, and there’s no knowing where the remnants will land or how big they’ll be. If the debris is largely unscathed, the damage could be severe. The 1000-feet tall booster is currently being tracked by the US Military here and is set to land around the 10th of May.

Most likely, the debris will land in the ocean, as it makes up 71% of the Earth’s surface. In the worst-case scenario, the debris could land in a densely populated area. According to Space News, if the CZ-5B falls to Earth, it will be “the biggest human-made objects to perform an uncontrolled reentry”.

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