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Tags: china | rocket | earth | reentry

Giant Chinese Rocket Plummets Wildly Back to Earth

a long march 5B rocket lifts off in china
A Long March 5B rocket lifts off from China on May 5, 2020. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 26 July 2022 04:09 PM EDT

A Chinese rocket stage weighing 21 tons is plummeting from space, and scientists have no idea where it will land.

According to the Washington Examiner, the remnants of the giant Long March 5B rocket, which carried a new module to China's space station on Sunday, are expected to reenter Earth's atmosphere sometime next week.

The descent comes amidst a number of instances, so far at least three, where a Chinese rocket has drawn headlines for its uncontrolled reentry.

Michael Byers, a professor at the University of British Columbia, told CNN that "although it will break up as it enters the atmosphere, numerous pieces — some of them quite large — will reach the surface."

Byers noted that the uncontrolled descent is "entirely avoidable" with modern technology. 

"This risk is entirely avoidable since technologies and mission designs now exist that can provide controlled reentries," he said.

The rocket fragments will likely land in some remote region or the ocean, but Byers notes there is a chance it could land in a population center.

China's Wentian space station module was successfully docked following the launch of the Long March 5B rocket.

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Newsfront
A Chinese rocket stage weighing 21 tons is plummeting from space, and scientists have no idea where it will land.
china, rocket, earth, reentry
188
2022-09-26
Tuesday, 26 July 2022 04:09 PM
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