The Pentagon has its eye on the out-of-control Chinese rocket that is expected to crash into Earth — but it’s not anything to lose sleep over
China Manned Space
- The headquarters of the US Department of Defence is keeping its eye on the Chinese
Long March 5B rocket, likely to fall towards Earth from outer space anytime after May 8.
- According to the DoD spokesperson, the rocket’s exact point of re-entry won’t come to light until a couple of hours before it re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere.
- Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard University’s Astrophysics Centre, believes that the rocket is most likely going to fall somewhere over the Pacific Ocean — not over a human population.
According to the
Before that happens, people can check for daily updates on the location of the out-of-control rocket on the Space Track website.
The chances that the Long March 5B rocket will hit you is minimal
Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard University’s Astrophysics Centre, told CNN that the risk of the rocket actually hitting a human being is minimal. “I would not lose one second of sleep over this,” he said.
According to him, the Pacific Ocean covers most of the Earth’s surface. Therefore, it’s likely that the Chinese rocket will splash down somewhere over the Pacific waters rather than actually hit lad.
What happened with the Long March 5B rocket?
The Long March 5B rocket weighs approximately 21 tonnes. Instead of falling into a pre-designation spot in the ocean, which is the common practice for rockets that are going to fall back to Earth, the Long March 5B’s core stage is circling the planet instead.
When the rocket falls out of orbit, it could simply just burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere. However, there is also a risk that large chunks of debris could survive the re-entry and fall onto the Earth’s surface instead.
The bigger issue is that this is not the first time such an incident is occurring with a Chinese rocket.
In May last year, China had initiated a different launch of the Long March 5B rocket — a prototype test before using it to launch components for the space station. Even that rocket’s core stage fell back to Earth uncontrolled.
Six days after the launch, it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. Jim Bridenstine, the NASA administrator at the time, called the incident “really dangerous.” The rocket stage had flown over Los Angeles and New York City before it crashed.
Banks respond positively to Indian central bank’s COVID stimulus package – check out the list of top gainers
PUBG Mobile India to relaunch as Battlegrounds Mobile India – here’s what we know so far
Popular on BI
- DBS Bank’s custom financing leads the way for companies trying to reach net-zero goals
- Google to open its new office in Pune this year, will hire cloud technology experts
- The world's 5 richest tech tycoons — including Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates — have already lost about $85 billion this year amid a brutal market sell-off
- DRDO is inviting applications to fill up 150 apprenticeship posts with a monthly stipend of ₹9,000
- Google will soon block targeted ads for people below 18 years
- India’s 73rd Republic Day – Here are some inspirational quotes to remember
- Adani Wilmar is a good FMCG bet to invest at a reasonable IPO price, say analysts
- Sensex tanks over 900 points, Nifty slips below 17,000 — Asian Paints, Wipro, Tech Mahindra, L&T, Reliance Industries and HDFC Bank top losers