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China closely tracking debris of its most powerful rocket

Remnants of a large, newly launched Chinese rocket are expected to streak back through the atmosphere this weekend in an uncontrolled re-entry the Beijing government said on Wednesday would be closely tracked but poses little risk to anyone on the ground.
The Long March 5B rocket blasted off Sunday to deliver a laboratory module to the new Chinese space station under construction in orbit, marking the third flight of China’s most powerful rocket since its maiden launch in 2020.
As occurred during its first two flights, the rocket’s entire main-core stage – which is 30 meters long and weighs 22 tons – has already reached low orbit and is expected to tumble back toward Earth once atmospheric friction drags it downward, Reuters reported.
Ultimately, the rocket body will disintegrate as it plunges through the atmosphere but is large enough that numerous chunks will likely survive a fiery re-entry to rain debris over an area some 2,000 km long by about 70 km, independent US-based analysts said.
The probable location of the debris field is impossible to pinpoint in advance, though experts will be able to narrow the potential impact zone closer to re-entry in the days ahead.
The latest available tracking data projects re-entry will be Sunday.
The overall risk to people and property on the ground is fairly low, given that 75% of Earth’s surface in the potential path of debris is water, desert or jungle, Reuters reported.
Nevertheless, the possibility exists for pieces of the rocket to come down over a populated area, as they did in May 2020 when fragments of another Chinese Long March 5B landed on the Ivory Coast, damaging several buildings in that West African nation, though no injuries were reported.The post China closely tracking debris of its most powerful rocket first appeared on Ariana News.

Source: Ariana News

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