The United States (USA) is following the path of an uncontrolled Chinese rocket that is expected to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere over the weekend. There is fear of where some of the debris may fall.
The Chinese rocket was used to launch a module that marks the beginning of Beijing’s plan to build a space station that is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
The module was launched on one of the largest transport rockets that China has, precisely the same as it is now falling uncontrollably, according to the Pentagon.
The exact location of the equipment’s re-entry can only be determined a few hours before it occurs, according to the US Space Control Squadron.
Despite the fact that most of the debris ends up on fire when entering the atmosphere, the size of the 22-ton rocket creates the fear that some parts may not disintegrate and eventually reach areas of the Earth.
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In spite of everything, the risk is small. Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at Harvard University, said the situation should not create major problems. “I think people can rest easy. The risk of hitting something or someone is very small. It could happen, but I would not lose my sleep because of this very small possibility.”
The astrophysicist also says that the best bet on where the debris will fall is in the Pacific Ocean, simply “because it occupies the largest space on Earth”.
According to the SpaceNews website, this will be one of the biggest uncontrolled reentry of a rocket.