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Technology The Pentagon is tracking an out of control Chinese rocket expected to crash into Earth

06:15  05 may  2021
06:15  05 may  2021 Source:   cnet.com

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The Pentagon has said it is tracking a large Chinese rocket that is out of control and set to reenter Earth 's atmosphere this weekend, raising concerns about where its debris may make impact. The Chinese Long March 5B rocket is expected to enter Earth 's atmosphere "around May 8," according to a statement from Defense Department spokesperson Mike Howard, who said the US Space Command is tracking the rocket 's trajectory. The rocket 's "exact entry point into the Earth 's atmosphere" can't be pinpointed until within hours of reentry, Howard said, but the 18th Space Control Squadron will

Pentagon tracking out - of - control Chinese rocket that could reenter Earth 's atmosphere. The Chinese Long March 5B rocket is expected to enter Earth 's atmosphere "around May 8," according to a statement from Defense Department spokesperson Mike Howard, who said the US Space Command is tracking the rocket 's trajectory. The rocket 's "exact entry point into the Earth 's atmosphere" can't be pinpointed until within hours of reentry, Howard said, but the 18th Space Control Squadron will provide daily updates on the rocket 's location through the Space Track website.

It sounds like the plotline for a Bruce Willis movie: The Pentagon said in a statement Tuesday that it's tracking a large Chinese rocket that is out of control and expected to reenter Earth's atmosphere this weekend. The US Space Command is tracking the trajectory, Defense Department spokesperson Mike Howard said in a statement cited by CNN and expects the Chinese Long March 5B rocket's appearance "around May 8."

The Chinese Long March 5B rocket launched Tianhe, the core module of the Chinese Space Station. CMS © Provided by CNET The Chinese Long March 5B rocket launched Tianhe, the core module of the Chinese Space Station. CMS The Chinese Long March 5B rocket launched Tianhe, the core module of the Chinese Space Station. © CMS

The Chinese Long March 5B rocket launched Tianhe, the core module of the Chinese Space Station.

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While the Tianhe module is set to begin a long stay in orbit, the massive Long March 5B rocket (also known as CZ-5B) that sent it there is expected to make an uncontrolled re-entry into Earth ’s atmosphere that could see parts of the booster impact the surface. This is a BETA experience. You may opt- out by clicking here.

A Chinese rocket that was recently launched is now out of control and is expected to impact Earth at some point this week. A CHINESE rocket used to launch China 's new Tianhe space station is expected to come crashing into the planet, with scientists scrambling to determine where

Howard said the rocket's exact entry point won't be known until within hours of reentry, but that daily updates on its location will be provided at the Space Track website.

Aerospace.org is also tracking the rocket, and as of Tuesday evening, was predicting a May 8 arrival, around 9:30 p.m. PT -- though predictions may change.

But don't panic. Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Astrophysics Center at Harvard University, told CNN, "the risk that it will hit you is incredibly tiny. And so I would not lose one second of sleep over this."

Because the Pacific Ocean covers so much of the Earth, the debris will likely splash down in Pacific waters somewhere, he said.

McDowell also adjusted the time period when the debris is expected to arrive to between May 8 and 10.

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China ’s 21-ton Long March 5b rocket is orbiting the planet in a path that could lead to the massive vehicle crashing back to Earth within the next few days, experts warns. The core stage launched Thursday to deliver the first modular of the nation’s new space station, but instead of returning to a pre-determined post in the ocean, it is predicted to make an uncontrolled reentry - and possibly in an inhabited area.

China 's rocket will crash back to Earth this week, could hit a city. A Chinese rocket that was recently launched is now out of control and is expected to impact Earth at some point this week. China 's 'uncontrolled' descent of 20-tonne rocket 'risks hitting US'. Space experts have criticised China 's space agency as 20-tonne "Long March" booster could reportedly crash into Earth almost anywhere between New York

The rocket helped launch Tianhe, the core module in China's new, next-generation space station, on April 28. The space base is scheduled to be completed late in 2022 to serve as a scientific research outpost for China over the next decade, and the only other operational space habitat outside of the International Space Station.

And what goes up, must come down.

Back in 2018, similar events took place, when China's out-of-control Tiangong-1 space station re-entered the atmosphere over the ocean near Tahiti. No one was injured, and the debris either burned up or found a new home on the floor of the south Pacific.

China launches main part of its 1st permanent space station .
BEIJING (AP) — China on Thursday launched the main module of its first permanent space station that will host astronauts long term, the latest success for a program that has realized a number of its growing ambitions in recent years. The Tianhe, or “Heavenly Harmony," module blasted into space atop a Long March 5B rocket from the Wenchang Launch Center on the southern island province of Hainan, marking another major advance for the country’s space exploration. © Provided by Associated Press In this image taken from undated video footage run by China's CCTV via AP Video, a rendering of a module of a Chinese space station is shown.

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