Huge space junk will cause uncontrolled re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, and it is possible that debris will land in many cities around the world in the next few days.It is left over from the first module in China-No one knows where it will land.
The 46,000-pound Chinese rocket Long March-5B recently launched the first module of the country’s new space station into orbit. After the core is separated from the rest of the rocket, it should follow a predetermined flight path into the ocean.
But now, scientists don’t know where it will land because it orbits the planet at a speed of 1
Its rapid speed makes its landing location almost unpredictable, but it is expected to land in the next few days.
“NASA has realized and tracked the space location of China’s Long March 5B, but it must determine its exact entrance into the Earth’s atmosphere until it re-enters the Earth within a few hours (expected to be around May 8),” Angela Webb of the U.S. Space Command’s Department of Public Affairs told CBS News.
Starting Tuesday, the 18th Space Control Squadron will track more than 27,000 man-made objects in space and provide daily updates on the location of the rocket’s body. Several other agencies are also tracking its movements.
Despite a lot of speculation, no one knows where the debris will fall. It may land in the United States, Mexico, Central America, South America, Africa, India, China or Australia.
It is most likely to land in oceans or uninhabited areas that account for more than 70% of the earth. However, as one of the largest uncontrollable re-entry spacecraft ever, there is still a risk that debris will land in the metropolitan area.
But again, the possibility is very small.
According to William Harwood of CBS News, “Most of the rockets will burn in the atmosphere, and the chance of anyone or any particular community being hit by the surviving debris is very small.”
However, this does not need to happen.
Harwood said: “Why China’s rockets fall uncontrollably is not clear.” “U.S. rockets (and most other rockets) will routinely launch engines to target re-entry into the South Pacific to ensure that debris will not Land in a densely populated area.”
The China National Space Administration has encountered the problem of returning to Earth in the past. In 2018,China’s decommissioned space station went into uncontrolled space and landed somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. In May last year, another Long March 5B rocket took off and landed near the west coast of Africa.
The most significant reentry destruction event in densely populated areas was the space shuttle Columbia, which entered in February 2003. When the 200,000-pound spacecraft crashed over Texas, a large amount of debris hit the ground, but there was no injury.
Similarly, when Skylab re-entered in 1978, the debris fell in Western Australia, but there were no reports of injuries.
William Harwood contributed to this report.