It seems like the plotline for a Bruce Willis film: The Pentagon said in a statement Tuesday that it’s tracking an enormous Chinese rocket that is out of control and expected to reemerge Earth’s atmosphere this weekend. The US Space Command is tracking the trajectory, Defense Department representative Mike Howard said in a statement refered to by CNN and expects the Chinese Long March 5B rocket’s appearance “around May 8.”
Howard said the rocket’s exact entry point will not be known until within hours of reentry, however that daily updates on its location will be given at the Space Track website.
Aerospace.org is additionally tracking the rocket, and starting at Tuesday evening, was predicting a May 8 appearance, around 9:30 p.m. PT – however predictions may change.
In any case, 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.”
Since the Pacific Ocean covers such an extensive amount the Earth, the debris will probably sprinkle down in Pacific waters someplace, he said.
McDowell additionally changed the time span when the debris is required to show up to between May 8 and 10.
The rocket helped launch Tianhe, the core module in China’s new, next-generation space station, on April 28. The space base is planned to be finished late in 2022 to serve as a scientific research outpost for China over the next decade, and the solitary other operational space habitat outside of the International Space Station.
Also, what goes up, should descend.
Back in 2018, comparable events occurred, when China’s out-of-control Tiangong-1 space station reemerged the atmosphere over the ocean close to Tahiti. Nobody was harmed, and the debris either caught fire or tracked down another home on the floor of the South Pacific.