A 21-ton Chinese rocket is expected to fall uncontrollably to Earth, and experts have warned it could land in populated areas.
The Long March 5B launched last Wednesday and successfully put the core module of the Chinese Tianhe space station into orbit.
The 30 meter long rocket also reached orbit and experts fear that it could cause an uncontrolled reentry in the next few days.
The core phase could be drawn to Earth and potentially land on an inhabited area. Space news Reports.
Space observer Jonathan McDowell told the website, “The core phase of the Long March 5B is seven times as massive as the second phase of the Falcon 9, which received a lot of press coverage a few weeks ago when it reentered over Seattle and Washington hung up a couple of pressure tanks. “
The missile is believed to orbit the earth every 90 minutes and pass north of New York, Madrid and Beijing and south of Chile and Wellington, New Zealand. This raises concerns that it could land on inhabited areas.
It measures about 100 feet long and 16 feet wide.
Once it falls out of orbit, it can burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere, but pieces of debris can fall.
While they are likely to fall into the ocean, there is a risk that some of them will fall into inhabited areas.
Mr. McDowell said, “I think by current standards it is unacceptable to let him re-enter uncontrollably.”
In a tweet, the astronomer wrote: “The apogee of the core phase continues to decline slowly.
“No new data on Tianhe itself to suggest it created an orbit causing burns, and the pursuit has lost her for now.”
Holger Krag, Head of the Space Security Program Office of the European Space Agency, said: “It is always difficult to determine the amount of surviving mass and the number of fragments without knowing the design of the object, but a reasonable rule. Thumbs do something 20-40% of the original dry matter. “
According to local media, China plans to complete its space station by the end of 2022 after further modules have been launched.
The Tiangong space station will orbit the earth at an altitude of 211 to 280 miles when completed.