Out-of-Control Chinese Rocket Expected to Crash Back to Earth— But Where?

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A large Chinese rocket body that’s out of control and expected to reenter Earth’s atmosphere this weekend.

According to a report by the US Pentagon, the US Space Command is tracking the trajectory, Defense Department spokesperson Mike Howard said in a statement cited by CNN, and expects the Chinese Long March 5B rocket’s appearance “around May 8.”

Aerospace.org is also tracking the rocket, and as of Friday evening, was predicting a May 8 arrival, around 9:19 p.m. PT, though predictions may change.

At the time the image was taken, “the rocket stage was at about 700 kilometers (434.9 miles) from our telescope, while the sun was just a few degrees below the horizon, so the sky was incredibly bright,” Masi wrote. “This is huge debris (22 tons, 30 meters/98 feet long and 5 meters/16 feet wide), but it is unlikely it could create serious damage.”

As of April 5, Jonathan McDowell suggests we still don’t know where the booster will come down but it’s return is likely to occur on May 8 or 9.

Meanwhile, on April 6, U.S. defense secretary Lloyd Austin said the US doesn’t “have a plan to shoot the rocket down” and is hopeful it will “land in a place where it won’t harm anyone.”

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