According to CNN reports, the US Department of Defence is closely monitoring an out of control Chinese space rocket whose debris is expected to enter the Earth's atmosphere by the weekend.
The Chinese Long March 5B rocket as per intel from the US Space Command is expected to make an appearance "around May 8." Aerospace.org too is closely tracking the out of control Chinese space junk and as of Tuesday rocket predicted that the rocket will make an appearance of May 8 around 9:30 p.m. though the timings may change.
Following China's space misadventure, the White House has called for "responsible space behaviours." "The United States is committed to addressing the risks of growing congestion due to space debris and growing activity in space and we want to work with the international community to promote leadership and responsible space behaviours," the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, said on Wednesday. Read more
According to China's Global Times newspaper, the rocket's "thin-skinned" aluminium-alloy exterior will easily burn up in the atmosphere, posing an extremely remote risk to people. Scientist assures the people there is no reason for anybody to panic since debris on previous occasion too have hit the Earth's surface without posing any threat to life.
However, astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell from Harvard University has predicted the possibility of a few pieces of rocket debris entering the Earth's atmosphere that it would be the "equivalent of a small plane crash scattered over 100 miles." "Last time they launched a Long March 5B rocket they ended up with big long rods of metal flying through the sky and damaging several buildings in the Ivory Coast," McDowell said. He also added, "What's bad is that it's really negligent on China's part. Things more than 10 tonnes, we don't let them fall out of the sky uncontrolled deliberately." Read more
Similar to this mishap, in May 2020 another Chinese rocket fell uncontrolled into the Atlantic off West Africa making it the heaviest debris to fall uncontrolled since the former Soviet space station Salyut 7 in 1991.
Even though the space junk floating around space pose little to no threat to life on Earth, it may prove to be devastating for the active satellites that revolve around the Earth functioning to provide services such as tracking the weather and studying the earth's climate.
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