Chinese Long March rocket explodes, uncontrolled debris fall back to Earth

Chinese Long March rocket explodes, uncontrolled debris fall back to Earth

May 8, 2021 3 By Antonio Manaytay
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China’s ambitious “Space Dream” has hit a snag after the Chinese Long March 5B rocket exploded in space its debris hurtle towards Earth in an uncontrolled manner.

China launched the rocket in late April. The rocket’s 10-storey long, 20-ton section tumbled through space at a speed 100 times as fast as a vehicle travelling at 180 miles per hour.

Scientists said the space junk may crash on to Earth either late Saturday or early Sunday.

It is common to have rocket debris falling back to Earth. This one, however, has caused concern because it has lost control giving experts a hard time to predict where it will fall.

While the risk of killing people upon hitting Earth is very small, but it is not totally impossible.

Initial estimates have indicated the debris could hit Los Angeles, New York, Rio de Janeiro, the capital of Nigeria, or Beijing. It may also dive into an ocean or wilderness.

But Chinese scientists downplayed the danger.

In response to inquiries, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the debris would burn up when it will re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere.

Its descent, he said, should not cause for all.

The probability that it will cause harm to people and aviation activities is “extremely low.”

It is likely the debris will land in the sea, Global Times, a Chinese state-run newspaper, reported. Water comprises about 70 percent of the Earth’s surface.

The worst case scenario remains a possibility. The debris could crash in cities where millions of people live.

The Long March 5B rocket was the first of the 11 space missions to build China’s palace in heaven.

This space episode is not the first for China.

Last year, another Chinese rocket tumbled through New York and Los Angeles before it crashed in Ivory Coast.

PHOTO: Pixabay photo

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