The wreckage of the rocket is expected to fall to Earth late Saturday night or Sunday morning after the body of the rocket carrying the first module that China launched on April 29 for the space station goes out of control.
Of china space station 29 to EngagementAfter the hull of the rocket carrying the first module he launched went out of control, the wreckage Saturday It is expected to return to the atmosphere late at night or Sunday morning and fall to Earth. Explanations regarding the predictions were made by space observation and research centers.
The EU Space Surveillance and Monitoring Authority (EU SST) said they predicted the fall of the Long March 5B rocket wreck as the time frame 190 minutes before or after 02.11GMT (05.11) on Sunday.
The US Center for Orbital Rotation and Debris Studies (CORDS) has also updated its estimates for the rocket’s crash time and announced that they are waiting within four hours before or after 03.30GMT (06.30 GMT) on Sunday.
The Russian space agency Roscosmos predicts that the rocket will crash into the Timor Sea south of Indonesia after Saturday 23.30GMT (Sunday 02.30 GMT).
In a statement released on its website, EU SST stated that they expect the impact of the fall to be ‘low’, but the uncontrolled progress of the rocket debris also made predictions difficult.
The rocket was also followed by the US Department of Defense (Pentagon). According to the Pentagon forecast, the rocket will drop in the nine-hour time frame around 23:00 GMT (Sunday 02:00 CET) on Saturday.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced on Friday that most of the rocket debris will burn as it enters the atmosphere and is unlikely to cause any major damage. The US Space Command announced that it was following the course of the wreck, which it defined as ‘uncontrolled entry’.
Where will it fall?
There is a lot of speculation about where the rocket will land. It is also a predominant estimate that pieces of unburnt debris fall into the oceans covering 70% of the earth.
Harvard-based astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell is on Reuters news He told his agency that the rocket fragments could fall on land and perhaps in the residential area. The wreck of the Long March 5B, which was first launched in May last year, fell into Ivory, with damage to some buildings and no injuries.
The European Space Agency announced that debris could fall between the 41st north and south latitudes during the week.
Many cities in Turkey are also listed among the countries at risk.
In a statement made on the official website of the Pentagon’s Space Command, it was stated that the 18th Space Control Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base near Los Angeles was tracking the Long March 5B rocket. The fleet tracks the wreckage of more than 27,000 rockets in space, most of them in low orbit.
“We hope it will land somewhere where it won’t hurt anyone,” said Pentagon spokesman Mike Howard.
Howard said that the US is tracking the rocket wreck, but where it will fall can be better predicted just a few hours before the fall.
US Defense Secretary Lyod Austin previously said that the US military has no plans to hit the rocket, and stated that it was China’s negligence in the rocket falling out of orbit.
“Considering the size of the object, it seems that it will leave huge pieces behind it. It is very unlikely that the wreckage will fall into residential areas, perhaps one in a million,” said Florent Delefie, astronomer at the Paris-PSL Observatory.
The wreckage of Chinese rockets had previously fallen within the borders of China. In April last year, residents of the city of Shiyan in Hubei province and its surroundings were instructed to evacuate the area in preparation for the anticipation of a rocket crash.
In a statement published on the Aerospace Corportation blog, Long March wrote that the entry of 5B to Earth was unusual:
“Unusual because when launched, the first stage of the rocket reached orbital velocity rather than reducing its range contrary to what is common. The rocket’s hollow body now drifts in an oval orbit around the Earth, from there to uncontrolled fall.
The empty body of the rocket has been losing altitude since last week. But the rate of decline is uncertain due to unpredictable variables in the atmosphere.
The Long March 5B wreck will be one of the largest rocket wrecks to fall on earth. Experts estimate that its dry mass will be around 18 to 22 tons.
Launched on April 29
China launched the Long March 5B rocket on April 29 from Treasure Island to carry the Tianhe core module into space.
After the launch, the Tianhi module disconnected from the rocket and entered its planned orbit.
China Space station Tianhe sent to space within the scope of his project; spacecraft with a length of 16.6 meters, a maximum diameter of 4.2 meters and a take-off mass of 22.5 tons.
The module will be the primary habitat for astronauts during their approximately 6 months of space visits. After the rocket, 10 more missions will be sent to complete the station. This mission was the second rocket launched after May last year.
The Long March 5 rockets form an important part of China’s space exploration plans for lunar and even Mars expeditions.