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China’s 'out-of-control' rocket to make re-entry to Earth's atmosphere today

News Agencies | Updated on: 9 May 2021, 8:47 IST

The spent stage of China's Long March 5B-rocket that launched last month is expected to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere over the Mediterranean on Sunday, according to the latest estimates from the US Air Force.

Earlier, the Chinese rocket, which is around 100 feet tall and weighs 22 tons, was expected to enter Earth's atmosphere around May 8 and US Space Command is said to be tracking the rocket's trajectory amid concerns about where its debris may make an impact, CNN reported.

On Wednesday, the US Department of Defence had informed that it is tracking the Long March 5B-rocket that is out of control and set to re-enter Earth's atmosphere this weekend. Later on Friday, Beijing had dismissed threats posed by the out-of-control rocket, despite concerns raised by experts.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin had said the debris of the Chinese carrier vehicle Chang Zheng 5 (Long March 5) will mostly burn upon entry into the atmosphere, adding that there is very little risk for objects on the ground.

"Carrier vehicle Chang Zheng 5 successfully got the basic module of the orbital station into the orbit. China is carefully monitoring the rocket stage re-entry into the Earth atmosphere. As far as I know, the carrier vehicle is made from a special material, most debris will burn upon entry into atmosphere. The risk for the planes and objects on the ground is very low," the spokesperson told a briefing, as quoted by Sputnik.

In April, China had launched the Long March 5B carrier rocket with the aim for China's future orbital station.


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First published: 9 May 2021, 8:47 IST