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Chinese Rocket ‘Will Crash On Earth This Weekend’

Chinese rocket
Credit: Pexels

A Chinese rocket is expected to crash on Earth this weekend.

The rogue 21-ton Long March 5B, a part of the Chinese Space Station (CSS), was sent into orbit on April 29.

However, the 100-foot-long, 16-foot-wide rocket is said to be ‘out of control’ and is likely to make a re-entry at an unknown landing at some point over the next few days.

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US Department of Defence spokesperson Mike Howard released a statement, saying: “U.S. Space Command is aware of and tracking the location of the Chinese Long March 5B in space, but its exact entry point into the Earth’s atmosphere cannot be pinpointed until within hours of its reentry, which is expected around May 8.”

An astronomer at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Jonathan McDowell, told The Guardian that it’s ‘potentially not good’. 

He explained: “Last time they launched a Long March 5B rocket they ended up with big long rods of metal flying through the sky and damaging several buildings in the Ivory Coast.

“Most of it burned up, but there were these enormous pieces of metal that hit the ground. We are very lucky no one was hurt.”

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Many experts are hoping that it will burn out as it re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere. Others are just hoping it lands in an unpopulated area. 

However, McDowell told SpaceNews that either outcome is ‘unacceptable’.

“I think by current standards it’s unacceptable to let it [the core stage] re-enter uncontrolled,” he said.

Many people have taken to Twitter to share their concerns over where it could land.

One person wrote: “Currently low-key freaking out because my brain has convinced me that the Chinese rocket that’s falling down soon will land on my house.”

Another added: “Every time someone mentions the falling Chinese rocket I think ‘so this is what it would be like to live on a roulette wheel’.”

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Written by Aimee Walker

Aimee is a senior content editor at IGV who specialises in finding the best original stories, trending topics and entertainment news. She graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Media and Communications.