In the next few hours, another problem from China will fall on Earth. The structure of a Chinese Rocket will become the largest piece of space junk to ever fall on Earth. The uncontrolled piece of the spacecraft is following a trajectory back to earth. As if dealing with an ongoing pandemic was not enough, now we have to deal with this piece of junk. All thanks to China.
China's new large carrier rocket Long March-5B is expected to take its maiden flight from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in S China's Hainan Province at 6 p.m. (Beijing time) on Tue, according to China's Manned Space Agency. pic.twitter.com/jjPn1QbaEO
— People's Daily, China (@PDChina) May 5, 2020
Trying to copy SpaceX, China launched a Long March 5B rocket crew capsule prototype on May 5, 2020. Within a week of orbiting the Earth, the major external core of the rocket is set for a collision course with the upper atmosphere of our planet. The Chinese seem to be doing what they do best. Make something, hoping that it will work, and show it to the world. But as soon as it fails, launch it worldwide, and cause a problem for all.
China: Long March 5B rocket
The rocket is headed straight for the upper atmosphere, and whatever does not burn while dropping will cause an impact. Since the 39-tonne Salyut-7 in 1991, this is the largest piece of massive uncontrolled object to enter Earth from space. Private Aerospace Corporation, the US military, and other organizations are actively tracking the 37,000-pound rocket that can enter our atmosphere anytime now.
The CZ-5B-Y1 core stage is in a 155 x 366 km orbit, and is expected to reenter around May 11. At 17.8 tonnes, it is the most massive object to make an uncontrolled reentry since the 39-tonne Salyut-7 in 1991, unless you count OV-102 Columbia in 2003.
— Jonathan McDowell (@planet4589) May 7, 2020
However, most of the rocket parts are expected to burn up due to the immense amount of air friction. Still, a few parts will remain which will end up crashing on our surface. Rocket reentries are very difficult to predict, given that the object moves at thousands of miles per hour. When such an incident happens, the debris is normally scattered over an area covering hundreds of miles.
Even though China has caused two problems by now, still this seems to be a much smaller compared to the COVID-19. In the end, there is a piece of good news. The debris will be too harmful when it causes an impact. Most of it will burn out, and the rest will be too small to cause any major damage.
What do you think of this entire orchestration? Let us know in the comment box below.
Suryapratim Ray is an engineer, author, robotics hobbyist, and an active Quoran. Being a technical blogger, he covers the good, bad, and ugly of science on a regular basis at Sciencenews18. In addition to his passion for writing, he’s equally keen on learning classical music.