China's Massive Rocket is Falling Back to Earth Totally Uncontrolled
The Long March 5B rocket entered a temporary orbit over cities including Madrid and Beijing.
Science & Tech
Last week, April 29, a Chinese Long March 5B launched the Tianhe module of the Chinese Space Station (CSS), which is expected to be fully operational by 2022. Unfortunately, the rocket that sent that module up into low earth orbit also entered a temporary orbit, meaning it will soon make one of the largest ever uncontrolled re-entries of a space machine, SpaceNews reports.
The European Space Agency stated that the rocket is likely to fall back down to Earth on May 9 at approximately 17:23 UTC, though they say there is a margin of error of approximately one day.
Today, May 4, the rocket is orbiting the Earth approximately once every 90 minutes and is traveling at around 17,149 mph (27,600km/h) and at an altitude of more than 186 miles (300 kilometers).
Experts weigh in on 'unacceptable' Long March 5B re-entry
Jonathan McDowell, Astrophysicist at the Astrophysics Center at Harvard University, told The Guardian that "it's potentially not good. Last time they launched a Long March 5B rocket they ended up with big long rods of metal flying through the sky and damaging several buildings in the Ivory Coast."