Scary! China’s massive Long March 5B rocket to crash onto Earth in a fearsome fireball



The 23-ton Chinese booster rocket Long March 5B debris could crash to earth this week.

The remnants of the massive 23-ton Chinese rocket that recently delivered a new module to its space station is expected to fall to Earth this week. The US Space Command is keeping a track of the rocket’s trajectory and according to them the 23-ton Long March 5B rocket debris will fall to earth on Jul 31, 2022. The rocket carrying the Wentian laboratory module, took off from Hainan Island at 2:22 p.m. local time on Sunday, July 24. The rocket has successfully docked the module for China’s under-construction Tiangong space station.

After completing its job, the rocket has gone into an uncontrolled descent toward Earth’s atmosphere and now the space junk is expected to fall back to Earth. The rocket body will likely stay aloft for about a week, shared the researchers with The Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Orbital Reentry and Debris Studies (CORDS). The data gathered by the U.S Space Force’s Space Surveillance Network predicted that the rocket’s body will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere around 3:30 a.m. EDT (0730 GMT) on July 31, plus or minus 22 hours.

As reported by Space.com, the re-entry is likely to occur somewhere between 41 degrees north latitude and 41 degrees south latitude. The report also suggests that not all debris from the massive rocket will burn up in the earth’s atmosphere. The general rule of thumb says only 20-40% of the mass of a large object will reach the ground, but the exact amount depends on the design of the object. The Aerospace Corporation, explaining the impending rocket fall, says, “In this case, we would expect about five to nine metric tons [5.5 to 9.9 tons].”

The same undirected dives were also seen on the previous two Long March 5B missions. The first Long March 5B rocket was launched on May 5, 2020 and came down in an uncontrolled manner off Africa’s west coast after a week. The second Long March 5B re-entered earth’s atmosphere over the Indian Ocean in May 2021, after 10 days of launching Tiangong’s core module, also known as Tianhe.

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