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Wednesday, November 30, 2022


“Here We Go Again:” Out-Of-Control Chinese Rocket Expected To Crash On Friday

“Here we go again,” Ted Muelhaupt, a reentry and debris expert at The Aerospace Corporation, told reporters at a press briefing Wednesday. For the fourth time, China’s Long March 5B core stage will make an uncontrolled reentry into Earth’s atmosphere on Friday. 

The Aerospace Corporation’s latest update on the predicted reentry time of the Long March 5B core stage is for Friday at 1356 ET (early afternoon):

“Our latest prediction for rocket body reentry is: 04 Nov 2022 17:56 UTC ± 6 hours Reentry will be along one of the ground tracks shown here. It is still too early to determine a meaningful debris footprint.”

Here’s debris modeling of where the booster could land

On Monday, China’s most powerful rocket carried the third and final module for the Chinese Tiangong space station into low-Earth orbit. “Because this core stage lacks the capability to relight its engines for a controlled reentry into a desolate part of the world’s oceans, the rocket could ultimately come back anywhere in the tropics and most of the mid-latitudes of the planet,” Ars Technica said. 

Muelhaupt noted the individual risk to anyone struck by debris is extremely low:

“You’re 80,000 times more likely to get hit by lightning,” he said. “Nobody has to alter their lives because of this unless you’re a first responder.”

Over the last five decades, this booster ranks as the sixth largest uncontrolled reentry. 

On the three previous launches of the Long March 5B booster (2020, 2021, and 2022), the boosters fell back to Earth but did not cause any damage to building structures or injure anyone. 

It’s anyone’s guess where the booster will land tomorrow. We’re sure US officials will release statements saying how reckless the Chinese are in their space ambitions. 

This post was originally published on this site

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