The massive core of a Chinese rocket used last week to launch the first stage of the space station’s ambitions revolves around the Earth in low orbit and where it will land, someone suggests.
SpaceNews reported that the core of Long March 5B, which is considered a variant of the largest rocket in the country, will re-enter Earth next week as one of “the largest cases of uncontrolled re-entry of a spacecraft and could potentially land on inhabited ■ area. “
The website estimates that a 100-foot-long object orbits the Earth every 90 minutes and moves north from New York, Beijing and south to New Zealand. The report says that despite the threat, it is most likely to explode in one of the world̵
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Jonathan McDowell, a space observer, told the website that since 1990, there have been no cases of a spacecraft over 10 tons “deliberately left in orbit to enter uncontrolled.”
The report says that the main stage of the rocket – when empty – has a mass of about 21 metric tons. (You can follow the rocket here.)
“It’s potentially not good,” McDowell said, according to the Guardian. “The last time they fired a Long March 5B rocket, they found themselves with large long metal rods flying across the sky, damaging several buildings in Côte d’Ivoire.”
The Tianhe or Heavenly Harmony module exploded in space on top of the Long March 5B rocket from the Wenchang launch center in the southern island province of Hainan. The payload was the main module of its first permanent space station.
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The space program is a source of great national pride, and Premier Li Keqiang and other senior civilian and military leaders watched the launch live from the Beijing Control Center.
The Associated Press contributed to this report