It’s kind of an ass hit, but with a piece of space debris around 21 tons and Earth as a gamepad. Nobody knows exactly when or where part of the 30-meter-high Chinese missile that was launched at the end of last month will land. While China believes there is much to panic about nothing, space experts are concerned about the apparent indifference of the country with grand space ambitions.
According to astronomers, the part known as the Long March 5B missile that will likely destroy this weekend is one of the largest pieces of space debris to have returned to Earth uncontrollably in nearly three decades.
Speaking to SpaceNews, Holger Krag, head of the safety program at the European Space Agency (ESA), told us that it is difficult to predict how much of the current launch vehicle will burn up in the atmosphere on its way to Earth. “But usually about 20 to 40 percent remains,” he says.
Refractory materials, such as fuel tanks, in particular have a chance to survive on Earth’s surface. A possible crash spot? As north as New York, as south as Sydney and everything in between.
The area where the missile parts could end:
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