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Tue May 4, 2021, 08:19 AM

Massive Chinese rocket core to make uncontrolled reentry over Earth in coming days

Source: Live Science

Massive Chinese rocket core to make uncontrolled reentry over Earth in coming days

The same type of rocket crashed into West Africa and the Atlantic Ocean in May 2020, possibly damaging an inhabited village.

By Brandon Specktor - Senior Writer about 17 hours ago

The huge, 100-foot-tall (30 meters) core of a Chinese rocket is tumbling wildly through low-Earth orbit and could make an uncontrolled reentry through the atmosphere in the coming days, according to news reports.

The core belongs to a Long March 5B rocket (a version of China's largest rocket), which successfully launched a module for China's planned Tianhe space station into orbit on Wednesday (April 28). Following the module's deployment, the rocket core was expected to make maneuvers for a controlled reentry into Earth's atmosphere, according to SpaceNews — however, that didn't happen.

Ground-based radars soon detected the rocket core tumbling through orbit, oscillating between altitudes of 106 and 231 miles (170 and 372 kilometers) above Earth's surface and traveling at more than 15,840 mph (25,490 km/h). (The U.S. military designated the object 2021-035B, and you can monitor its progress around the planet here.)

The drag of Earth's atmosphere will eventually tug the rocket core out of orbit — however, given the object's high speed and variable altitude, it's impossible to predict exactly where or when it will fall toward Earth's surface. Much of the core will likely burn up in the planet's atmosphere, SpaceNews reported, but there is a chance that some chunks of debris will survive the reentry and rain down on the land or ocean.

This, sadly, wouldn't be the first time. In May 2020, a Long March 5B rocket slammed through the atmosphere, partially burning up on its descent, Live Science previously reported. The core fell largely into the Atlantic Ocean, but some debris landed in West Africa. According to the South China Morning Post, some chunks of debris crashed into inhabited villages in Côte d'Ivoire, though thankfully no casualties were reported.

-snip-


Read more: https://www.livescience.com/chinese-long-march-rocket-uncontrolled-reentry-2021.html

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Reply Massive Chinese rocket core to make uncontrolled reentry over Earth in coming days (Original post)
Eugene Tuesday OP
TreasonousBastard Tuesday #1

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Tue May 4, 2021, 09:07 AM

1. I've got to see if I still have mine in the attic...

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