The Long March 5BY2 rocket carrying the main module of the Chinese space station Tianhe launched on April 29, 2021 from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan Province, China. (Purpose file photo for image representation only)
BEIJING: A large portion of the Chinese rocket is expected to be out of control of the Earth’s atmosphere over the weekend, but Beijing has eased that fear and said there is little risk of any damage.
A Long March 5B rocket The first module of China’s new space station was launched into Earth orbit on May 29. Its 18-tonne critical segment is now in freefall, and experts say it is difficult to say exactly where and when it will enter.
Re-entry is expected around 2300 GMT on Saturday Pentagon, With a plus window or minus nine hours on either side.
Chinese officials say most Rocket components May be destroyed on re-registration.
“On Earth … damage is very unlikely,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters Friday.
Although there is speculation as to where the rocket – or part of it – will stand, there is a good chance that any debris that does not burn will slide into the ocean on a planet made up of only 70% water. .
A Pentagon spokesman, Mike Howard, said: “We hope it will land in a place where no one will be harmed.”
Howard said the United States was tracking part of the rocket but “its exact point in the Earth’s atmosphere could not be determined within hours of its re-entry.”
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said earlier that US Army There was no plan to bring it down, and suggested that China was neglecting to bring it out of orbit.
“Given the size of the object, there must be large pieces,” said Florent Delphi, an astronomer. Paris-PSL Observatory.
“The chances of debris landing on a populated zone are slim, perhaps one in a million.”
In 2020, the wreckage of another Long March rocket landed in Ivory Coast villages, causing structural damage but no injuries or deaths.
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