Unfortunately, asteroids and comets falling from the sky are far from representing the only danger coming from space. Threats can come even from human-made tools, and once again, we have a good example. Rocket debris that measures about 30 meters long will inevitably crash on the Earth’s surface in a matter of hours.
The debris in question belongs to China’s Long March 5B rocket, and experts still have trouble figuring out the landing spot. FoxNews.com brings the information, and we’re talking about the rocket launched to carry a module for the first permanent space station of China.
Debris from a Long March 5B rocket crashed in May 2020
FoxNews.com also reminds about how a chunk from a Long March 5B rocket crashed in Ivory Coast last year. Some buildings were damaged, and luckily enough, no residents got hurt.
Reports of a 12-m-long object crashing into the village of Mahounou in Cote d'Ivoire. It's directly on the CZ-5B reentry track, 2100 km downrange from the Space-Track reentry location. Possible that part of the stage could have sliced through the atmo that far (photo: Aminata24) pic.twitter.com/yMuyMFLfsv
— Jonathan McDowell (@planet4589) May 12, 2020
Dr. Jonathan McDowell is an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and he explained the following:
And, eventually, it gets low enough that the drag on it just gets way, way bigger very quickly. And, instead of continuing to orbit it just sort of plummets down and as it plummets down it gets even hotter…the lower of temperature of metals aluminum melt and the thing breaks apart into a bunch of shrapnel.
The astrophysicist also added:
What they do is they Monte Carlo it. They make a million guesses about what the atmosphere is going to do and how the rocket’s going to tumble and throw those darts at a board and see what the distribution of answers is.
The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) said to Fox Business that it was tracking any impact the rocket might have while working with the NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command).