The nearly 100-foot core of China’s Long March 5B rocket is likely to make an uncontrolled re-entry at an unknown time in the coming days.
The spacecraft was launched Thursday in a low earth orbit from Hainan’s Wenchang Center and ferries the Tianhe module to the country’s first permanent space station.
CHINESE ROCKET TO DO UNCONTROLLED REPEAT; UNCLEER WHERE WASTE FRAME: REPORT
However, this is not the first time one of China’s rockets has made an uncontrolled descent.
Last May, debris from the same rocket rained down on at least two villages along the Ivory Coast of Africa. In that case, the rocket ̵
The rocket re-entered the Atlantic at 11:33 AM Monday, May 11, 2020.
The photos showed long metal bars that allegedly damaged several buildings in the Ivory Coast, although no injuries were reported.
A local infrasound station also recorded what appeared to be rocket debris moving through the atmosphere at supersonic speeds and hitting the ground.
The Verge reported that locals heard sonic booms and saw blinking and falling dirt at about the same time that the rocket would have passed overhead.
Newsweek reported that part of the rocket had fallen into the water near West Africa after spending a week in a low earth orbit.
At the time, the U.S. Air Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron said the rocket passed directly over major U.S. cities – including Los Angeles and New York City – on its way down.
It was the largest object to make an uncontrolled descent since the Soviet Union’s 43-ton Salyut 7 space station landed in Argentina in 1991.
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The only waste larger than the Salyut 7 space station was NASA’s nearly 100 tons of Skylab, which fell on a small Australian town in 1979.
In particular, a nuclear-powered Soviet satellite that recaptured the atmosphere over northern Canada in 1978 resulted in a $ 3,000,000 fine for its cleanup over the tundra.
Typically, rocket manufacturers account for declining rocket waste.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.