A huge chunk of space debris from a Chinese rocket is expected to shatter and plunge toward Earth in the next few days. The problem is, no one really knows where it will land until a few hours before it returns, raising concerns about where the debris will fall.
The Pentagon has been busy tracking the rocket’s path as it re-enters Earth’s atmosphere around May 8, according to the Department of Defense.
“We are certainly tracking its location through US Space Command,” said Jen Psaki, White House press secretary.
The US Space Command’s public affairs office said it was following him closely. “The start of the school year is scheduled for Saturday 8 May. Its exact point of entry into the Earth’s atmosphere can only be identified a few hours after its re-entry ”.
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“I don’t think people should take precautions. The risk of it getting damaged or hitting someone is pretty low – not insignificant, it could happen – but the risk of it hitting you is incredibly small. And so I wouldn’t lose a second of sleep over this personal threat, ”Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard University, told CNN.
Last week, China launched a rocket carrying part of its new space station. Generally similar rockets are designed to fall safely into the ocean after launch. Experts say that in this case, the massive body of the rocket will fall and make an uncontrolled re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, “Today” reported.
The concern over space debris comes after China launched the first module of its scheduled space station Thursday morning from the Wenchang launch site on the southern island of Hainan, according to China’s National Space Administration, CNN reported. .
As most space debris burns in the atmosphere, the rocket’s size – 22 tons – raised concerns that large pieces could fit in and cause damage if they hit populated areas, the station said. Press.
Trying to locate the direction of the debris is almost impossible due to the speed of movement of the rocket. McDowell estimates the speed of the rocket to be 18,000 miles per hour, therefore, he said, “if you’re an hour guessing when it’s going down, you’re 18,000 miles saying where.”
Since 70% of Earth is ocean water, there’s a good chance that debris will fall into the Pacific, predicts McDowell.
In the meantime, the 18th Space Control Squadron will provide daily updates on the location of the rocket through the Space Track website.