Debris from a Chinese rocket will soon return to Earth: can it reach a settled area?

A few days ago, China made history by sending the first module of its future space station named Tiangong into space. If launching into the classroom was a success, it is another extension that does a lot of talking. Indeed, the central stage of the Long March 5 launcher, which inspired the station’s element, would return to Earth in a completely uncontrolled manner. To put it another way, scientists have no idea where this 21-tonne object will crash, or when. At best, they can cite the 8–12 May range. It did not take long for anxiety and fear that the rocket’s stage would fall into an inhabited area.

So, is it possible? To be clear, the Huffington Post interviewed astronomer Florent DeLafi at the Paris Observatory. “In the history of the conquest of space, there has never been a case of falling from objects that reach humans to the end”, directly specifying the expert. And yet uncontrolled re-entry into the atmosphere is extremely frequent. According to him, there will be about one per week!

without any reason …

However, this time the object is much larger than normal. As Futura Sciences points out, it is little that “objects of more than 10 tons are intentionally released into orbit and re-enter our environment in an uncontrolled manner.” However, it must be remembered that the launcher we are talking about weighs 21 tonnes. A “detail” that doesn’t change much. Since our earth is covered with 70% water, there is a possibility that the rocket phase will enter the sea. In addition, 95% of the world’s population currently lives in an area equal to 10% of the entire Earth. To be assured, we must also remember that a piece of the same launcher came back to earth uncontrollably last year. 17 tons heavier, it was finished in the Atlantic Ocean. At the time, many observers were happy to see the spectacle, “the most spectacular in the last 30 years”. Still, some wonder why China is not planning a controlled withdrawal of its equipment, given that other countries are already doing so.

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About the Author: Abbott Hopkins

Analyst. Amateur problem solver. Wannabe internet expert. Coffee geek. Tv guru. Award-winning communicator. Food nerd.

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