Earlier this week, China launched one of its largest missiles, the Long March 5B. The goal is to create a new space station.
During launch, an auxiliary missile was to be launched and then fall to the ground at a specific location in one of the world’s oceans.
But everything did not go as planned when the 21-ton missile fragment ended up in Earth’s orbit. Hence, no one has control over it.
This raised fears that the heavy missile remnants would hit populated areas and cause severe damage to people and buildings.
Expect the missile to hit the ocean
Now, however, the European Union’s satellite surveillance program is reporting (EUSST) The missile will likely hit the ground on Saturday between 18:30 and Sunday 07:30.
Therefore, EUSST believes that the risk of serious human injury is small as the missile is expected to crash over the sea or in unpopulated areas.
Aerospace Corporation He posted a tweet late Friday indicating that the point of impact is likely to occur in an area near New Zealand’s North Island, but he does not rule out that the impact could theoretically occur anywhere on large parts of the planet.
Secret Chinese space experience?
Professor John Lev Jorgensen of DTU Space thinks the Long March 5B missile may be part of a secret Chinese space experiment, he writes Extrabdit.
Video: Launch of the “first Norwegian space rocket”
It is a common practice around the world for parts of space missiles to burn when they re-enter the atmosphere, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin at a press conference on Friday.
– China is closely watching the receding weather. As far as I know, the upper stage of this missile is inoperative. This means that most of its parts will be burned, making the potential for damage to aviation, facilities and activities extremely low According to Winpin, according to a translation on the ministry’s website CNBS.
The United States has no plans to drop
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the US had no plans to launch the missile.
For those of us who work in the space area, it is a requirement, and it must be a requirement, to work in a safe and thoughtful manner, and to make sure that we take these things into account when planning and executing operations, Austin says, according to BBC.
Also last year, parts of a Chinese missile fell in the Atlantic Ocean. According to NASA, the missile could have easily reached the US mainland rather than the Atlantic Ocean.
Video: A historic Japanese missile launch ended in disaster
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