An out-of-control Chinese space rocket approaches Earth

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A space rocket, used to carry to its destination some of the parts of the future Chinese Space Station, is out of control on its return trip to Earth. Normally such spacecraft burn up as they cross the atmosphere and, in case whole fragments remain, trajectory calculations are made for them to fall into the ocean. But this time it is not known where this will happen.

Therefore, scientists are very attentive and hope to be able to give more data about its fate in the next few hours. In any case, they have also appealed for calm, assuring that it will most likely fall into the sea anyway. After all, the oceans occupy the largest area of our planet.

Long March 5B launch
The rocket is approaching Earth without control, although it is expected to be able to calculate the landing point 6 hours in advance

Scientists who are studying the case believe that being a very heavy object, 22 tons, could generate fragments that do not burn in its re-entry into the atmosphere. If these were to land in populated areas, they could cause material or even human damage. This is possible, but extremely unlikely.

Even so, scientists from the U.S. 18th Space Control Squadron are monitoring this re-entry. At the moment, it is known that it is flying at 27,600 kilometers per hour and that the landing will probably occur between May 8 and 12. Since most of the planet is covered with water, it will most likely land in it. But if it doesn’t, it could cause dangerous situations. In fact, as Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at Harvard University’s Center for Astrophysics, has told The Guardian, the last time such a space rocket was launched, several metal rods damaged buildings in the Ivory Coast on its return to Earth.

Given its trajectory, it is believed that the impact could occur anywhere in an area to the north of which are Madrid, New York and Beijing. On the other side, to the south, are southern Chile and the city of Wellington, New Zealand.

But there is no need to panic. As McDowell also explained, once the exact day of arrival is clear, scientists will be able to predict the location within 6 hours, enough time to carry out evacuations if necessary. We can rest assured.

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