The central stage of a Chinese missile could enter the Earth’s atmosphere uncontrollably in the coming days, and hit the Earth by May 10. But it is difficult, at this point, to determine where the machine could fall.
A portion of a huge Chinese missile falls from the sky towards the ground, and it could touch the surface by May 10, in two days. The main part of the vehicle, which is estimated to be 30 meters long and weighs about 21 tons, could enter the Earth’s atmosphere in the coming days, experts told the British newspaper. Watchman, Without knowing where to land.
The launcher launcher, dubbed “Long March 5B”, was sent into space on April 29 from Wenchang City in the Chinese province of Hainan. This aims to put the “Tianhe” module into orbit, as part of the construction of the China Space Station “CSS” (which should be completed by the end of 2022).
Earth’s atmosphere must collide with the craft
But after a few seconds of flight, the Tianhe unit detached itself as expected from the launch pad that accompanied it. Then, the thrower went into orbit in an uncontrolled manner, and is now supposed to be gradually attracted by the Earth’s atmosphere, until it is captured by it in the coming days. From April 30, a specialized American news site Space News Therefore he warned of the risk of “uncontrolled” repercussions.
This Tuesday, the machine was orbiting the Earth every 90 minutes, at a speed of about 27,600 km / h, but it has already lost 80 km in altitude since this weekend. Trajectory 2021-035B, as the US Army has procured it, can be viewed on the Internet, through sites such as orbit.ing-now.com. But the fluctuations in that data make it difficult, if not impossible, to predict where it will land.
Astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell commented: “That might be a bad thing. The last time they (the Chinese) launched a Long March missile, they found themselves with long, long metal rods flying in the sky, destroying many buildings in Côte d’Ivoire. . ” At the Harvard University Astrophysics Center for the British newspaper. Watchman.
The astrophysicist added to the British daily: “While most of the pieces were burned (along the road), huge pieces of metal fell to the ground. We were very lucky that no one was injured,” expressing his regret for this “negligence on the part of China.”: “One does not fall. Intentionally uncontrolled objects weighing more than 10 tons from the sky. “
According to a scientific news site SpaceNews, it is more likely that this new device will fall into the water, as the ocean covers about 71% of the surface of the planet. For experts, the probability of someone getting hit by debris from this missile is extremely low, at “one in several trillions”.