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The Independent: The wreckage of a Chinese missile threatens the earth, and fears that it will fall in a populated area

The British newspaper, The Independent, reported that the Chinese Space Agency announced that it no longer controls the orbit of the return of the giant “Long March 5B” space rocket after the completion of the launch process. The next step is over a location that has not yet been determined,” according to Ted Muelhaupt, a consultant at the US space research company Aerospace Corporation.


The Independent

Experts claimed, according to the newspaper, that the rocket, which a few days ago moved the final unit of the Chinese space station “Tiangong” into orbit, is dropping sharply toward Earth, and is expected to land at “a location that has not yet been determined” in the coming days.

This is the fourth time that Beijing has launched a rocket carrying parts of the Chinese space station “Tiangong”, without following measures that would help recover the debris of the launch rocket, according to the newspaper.

The base stages of most orbital-class rockets are designed to land soon after take-off, or are steered safely out to sea or over sparsely populated areas, or to perform powered vertical landings to enable reuse, such as the SpaceX and Falcon 9 rockets, but The core of a Long March 5 rocket reaches orbit with its payload, resulting in an uncontrolled crash, due to atmospheric drag.

It is noteworthy that because the main part of the rocket rotates around the Earth every 90 minutes, it is uncertain exactly when and where it is likely to re-enter the atmosphere and partially burn up.

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The world witnessed uncontrolled falls for the first time on May 5, 2020, about a week after the launch of the “Long March 5B” rocket, in the first missions to build the Chinese space station.

The wreck fell into an uncontrolled area off the west coast of Africa, apparently dumping some of the wreckage in Côte d’Ivoire.

The second rocket landed in the Indian Ocean in May 2021, 10 days after the launch of the main unit of the Chinese space station. And last July, another Chinese space rocket crashed over the Indian Ocean. These accidents did not cause any injuries.

Beijing has started sending construction units to the Chinese space station, since 2020, and with every launch event of a rocket carrying parts of the International Space Station, the United States raises the world’s fears that parts of the launch rocket will fall into populated areas.