Beijing: The detritus of China’s Long March 5B rocket, which successfully launched the core module of the country’s space station last week, is now set to re-enter into earth’s atmosphere on Sunday. However, it will be landing somewhere near the Mediterranean Sea, according to the latest estimates from the US Air Force.
On Tuesday, the Pentagon had announced that it was keeping track of a large Chinese rocket that is out of control and set for a re-enter into earth’s atmosphere this weekend, CNN reported.
The rocket’s “exact entry point into the earth’s atmosphere” can not be pinpointed until within hours of re-entry, Defence Department spokesperson Mike Howard said. However, the 18th Space Control Squadron has kept providing daily updates on the rocket’s trajectory on the Space Track website.
The above-mentioned rocket was used by the Chinese authority to launch part of its space station last Thursday. While space debris objects mostly gets burned up in the atmosphere, the size of this rocket — 22 tonnes — has raised some concern after large parts of it could re-enter and cause severe damage if they hit inhabited areas.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin had earlier said the debris of the Chinese carrier vehicle Chang Zheng 5 (Long March 5) will mostly likely burn upon its re-entry into the atmosphere, while also adding that there is very little risk of it hitting the ground.
“Carrier vehicle Chang Zheng 5 successfully got the basic module of the orbital station into the orbit. China is carefully monitoring the rocket stage re-entry into the Earth atmosphere. As far as I know, the carrier vehicle is made from a special material, most debris will burn upon entry into atmosphere. The risk for the planes and objects on the ground is very low,” the spokesperson told a briefing, as quoted by Sputnik.