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US Space Command: Remnants of Chinese Rocket Fall Uncontrollably to Earth

A 23-ton Long March 5B rocket carrying the Wendyan lab module took off from Hainan Island in the South China Sea on Sunday, and the module arrived at a Chinese space station the next day.

After completing the mission, the rocket began its uncontrolled descent towards Earth, and it was unclear where it would land. This is the third time China has been accused of mishandling space debris.

Some fragments reach the Earth’s surface

– It is a metal object weighing 20 tons. Although it disintegrates as it enters the atmosphere, many fragments, some of them very large, reach the Earth’s surface, said Professor Michael Byers of the University of British Columbia.

See: North Korea has launched a ballistic missile. The rocket fell into the sea

As Byers explained, space debris poses very little danger to humans, but large pieces can cause damage if they land in populated areas. As the amount of space debris increases, Byers said, it’s getting worse and worse.

“This risk is completely avoidable because now technologies and mission designs can provide controlled returns (usually to remote areas of the oceans) rather than being uncontrolled and completely random,” commented Professor Byers.

Americans will see the remains

The US space agency has announced that it will follow the path of the remnants of a Chinese rocket. Based on changing atmospheric conditions, the exact point of their entry into the Earth’s atmosphere has not yet been determined, but is expected to occur around August 1.

In 2020, the nearly 20-ton core of a Chinese rocket made an uncontrolled re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, flying directly over Central Park in Los Angeles and New York. He eventually drowned in the Atlantic Ocean.

arż / PAP

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