Out of Control Rocket Could Strike Earth This Weekend
Attention Hollywood, your next action-adventures movie could be written in real life later this weekend. The "star" of this real-life adventure is a 21-ton 30-meter long section of a booster rocket from a Chinese Long March 5B rocket. That rocket delivered an unmanned module into low Earth orbit late last month.
Now, the remnants of that booster rocket are expected to re-enter Earth's atmosphere later this weekend. The problem with this re-entry is that no one is in control of that large chunk of what should now be considered space debris.
Scientists who are tracking the remnant rocket believe the former aircraft will slide into the Earth's atmosphere on or about May the 9th, give or take 48 hours. The problem with the out-of-control rocket's trajectory is that no one can be sure, at least at this time, exactly where the remnant debris will enter Earth's atmosphere and where pieces of the former rocket might land.
One astrophysicist told The Guardian that this wasn't the first time the Chinese have had an issue with a Long March 5B rocket. The last time the vehicle was used the falling space debris damaged several buildings in the Ivory Coast.
Now, just in case you're wondering if you should just stay inside this weekend, don't. The chances are very small that a piece of space junk from this rocket will fall where you live. Right now, the best guesses suggest the debris will land in the Pacific Ocean.
If you'd like to track the tumbling rocket and its projected re-entry you can do that here. It's really fascinating to watch, especially when you see just how fast this piece of space junk is traveling around our planet.
And just in case you've run out of other things to worry about, you might consider these.
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