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Remains of a Chinese rocket could fall to Earth in coming days

Remains of the Chinese rocket that brought into orbit the main module from China's future space station could fall to Earth in the next few days, DPA said.
Experts warned of the possibility of “uncontrolled” entry into the atmosphere of the main part of the rocket weighing about twenty tons, BTA reports.

The Changcheon 5B rocket is designed so that its main body cannot be controlled and with a set trajectory to fall into the sea at a predetermined location.

Astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell from Harvard and the Smithsonian's Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, USA said it was not known where the rocket would fall. In his worst-case scenario, the impact would resemble “smashing a small plane, but along a few hundred kilometres,” he told DPA.

It is unclear how many fragments will remain after the rocket enters the atmosphere, but according to the expert they will be enough to cause damage.

Since the rocket's core extent orbits the Earth every ninety minutes, it is unclear exactly when and where it is possible to enter the atmosphere and burn partially.

"Most likely the primary degree will fall in an uninhabited place like the world's ocean, which covers about 70 percent of the planet,” expert Andrew Jones wrote on “The chances of a person being hit by space remains are extremely slim, for example one in several trillion,” he believes.

Remains of the first Changcheon 5B flight in May 2020 fell in Ivory Coast six days after the rocket was launched and damaged several homes. It was the largest spacecraft to fall to Earth since the US Space Laboratory Skylab in 1979.

US space agency NASA then described the event as 'very dangerous'. A little earlier, the missile flew over U.S. territory.

McDowell criticises China that the new missile does not meet modern standards. Other countries are doing everything to ensure remains of their rockets do not remain in orbit and are staking a trajectory for their fall into the sea.

"With “Changcheon 5C” Well did none of this, they designed the basic degree to stay in orbit and enter the atmosphere a week later in a random location. This approach in design shows negligence compared to current standards followed by other countries, “he said.

The rocket successfully brought into orbit the main module of the future Chinese space station last Thursday. Next launches of Changcheon 5B rockets are planned, which are due to bring into orbit the station's other two modules, which is expected to be completed around 2022.


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