This Article is From Nov 03, 2022

A 23-Tonne Chunk Of Dead Space Rocket Set To Crash Back To Earth: Report

An official of the company that tracks orbital reentries said that "88% of the world's population is at risk".

A 23-Tonne Chunk Of Dead Space Rocket Set To Crash Back To Earth: Report

The module was launched by the Long March 5B rocket on Monday. (AFP Photo)

China is building its space station and the debris from the rockets that are taking its part to space is set to fall on the surface of the planet this weekend. On Monday, China launched the third module of its new Tiangong space station using one of China's biggest rockets - the Long March 5B - and its 23-tonne body is coming back to Earth, according to a report in CNET. The exact place where it will land is not known, and nobody is controlling it.

While the spent rocket booster is expected to bur up during re-entry but some larger components and other debris will survive and land on the surface of the Earth.

The 28-hour window for its re-entry and crashing on the surface of the planet will begin on Friday evening (Pacific Time) and continue through Saturday, according to predictions from the Aerospace Corporation, which tracks orbital reentries. 

"The uncertainty of where the large debris will ultimately land presents a level of risk to human safety and property damage that is well above commonly accepted thresholds," the company said in a statement published on its website.

The rocket was used to send Mengtian, the final part of the space station, to orbit for installation, according to CNET report. The booster is roughly the size of a 10-storey building.

Ted Muelhaupt, a consultant with The Aerospace Corporation's Corporate Chief Engineer's Office, was quoted as saying by that "88% of the world's population is at risk, and so 7 billion people are at risk" from the Chinese space debris falling on them.

Mengtian, Tiangong's second lab module, is the last "building block" that allows the space station to form a T-shape structure, the planned layout at its completion.

With this the construction of the space station entered its final stages, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Earlier, Chinese space officials said the station is due to be completed this year.