Experts predict that Large Chinese rocket body will fall to Earth on July 31

Experts predict that Large Chinese rocket body will fall to Earth on July 31

It’s impossible to tell where the 25-ton piece of space trash will descend. Experts predict that the newest piece of major Chinese space debris will re-enter the atmosphere near the end of the month. The object in question is the roughly 25-ton (22.5 metric tons) core stage of the Long March 5B rocket that on Sunday (July 24) launched to orbit the second module for China’s under-construction Tiangong space station.

Experts predict that Large Chinese rocket body will fall

The rocket body will likely remain in space for around a week, according to scientists with The Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Orbital Reentry and Debris Studies (CORDS). They’ve looked at data from the US Space Force’s Space Surveillance Network and expect the rocket body to reentry Earth’s atmosphere at approximately 3:30 a.m. EDT on July 31, plus or minus 22 hours.

That prediction will be updated and fine-tuned as time goes on. Researchers at CORDS pointed out that it’s too early to know where the Chinese rocket will land.

Based on its orbit, reentry will most likely happen between 41 degrees north latitude and 41 degrees south latitude. Not all of the objects, however, will burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.

“The general rule of thumb is that 20-40% of the mass of a large object will reach the ground, but the exact number depends on the design of the object,” The Aerospace Corporation wrote in an explainer about the impending rocket fall. “In this case, we would expect about five to nine metric tons [5.5 to 9.9 tons].”

The majority of orbital-class rockets have a core phase that is intended to come down soon after launch, guided safely into the ocean or sparsely inhabited areas of land – or to execute powered, vertical landings so they may be recovered, The Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy first stages are deployed into orbit by SpaceX. However, the Long March 5B core will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere in the not-too-distant future due to drag.

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