AN out-of-control Chinese rocket will fall back to Earth today as scientists reveal where it is likely to fall.
Experts at The Aerospace Corporation have plotted the trajectory of what remains of the massive rocket as it makes an uncontrolled re-entry.
Explaining the graphic issued by the corporation, it said possible re-entry points could be anywhere along the blue or yellow lines.
In one possible trajectory, seen on the yellow line, the rocket will first appear over the Indian Ocean before sweeping south below South Africa and across the southern Atlantic Ocean and heading up towards Brazil and close to the city of Sao Paolo, which has a population of more than 12.3m.
It will then sweep north-westerly across South America up along the western coast of Mexico and the US passing close to both San Diego, with a population of around 1.4m people, and Los Angeles, where nearly 4m people live.
It is then expected to veer off into the Pacific Ocean.
Read more about space
Nasa’s James Webb Telescope finds oldest galaxy EVER seen in universe
The Milky Way is MERGING with another galaxy
In the other, blue line, the rocket could sweep in across the Far East, past Japan, where almost 126m people live, before heading south and passing over countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia before crossing the Indian Ocean, heading south of South Africa and then ending up in the southern Atlantic Ocean.
Although in an update on Twitter, it said it was still too early to “determine a meaningful debris footprint.”
The latest available tracking data projects re-entry will occur around 6.15pm UK time, give or take an hour, according to the Aerospace Corp., a government-funded nonprofit research centre near Los Angeles.
The Beijing government said earlier this week it poses little risk to anyone on the ground.
Most read in Tech
World's biggest walking robot is a terrifying dragon that breathes fire
Mind-blowing optical illusion reveals that you cannot trust your brain
Existence of Loch Ness Monster 'plausible' after shock fossil find
Out-of-control Chinese rocket will fall back to Earth THIS WEEKEND
The Long March 5B rocket blasted off on Sunday to deliver a laboratory module to the new Chinese space station under construction in orbit.
It marked the third flight of China's most powerful rocket since its maiden launch in 2020.
As occurred during its first two flights, the rocket's entire main-core stage – which is 100 feet (30 metres) long and weighs 22 tons (about 48,500 lb) – has already reached low orbit.
It is expected to tumble back toward Earth once atmospheric friction drags it downward, according to American experts.
Ultimately, the rocket body will disintegrate as it plunges through the atmosphere.
However, it is large enough that numerous chunks will likely survive a fiery re-entry to rain debris over an area some 2,000 km (1,240 miles) long by about 70 km (44 miles) wide, independent U.S.-based analysts said on Wednesday.
The overall risk to people and property on the ground is fairly low, Aerospace analyst Ted Muelhaupt told reporters in a news briefing.
That's because 75 per cent of Earth's surface in the potential path of debris is water, desert or jungle.
Nevertheless, the possibility exists for pieces of the rocket to come down over a populated area.
That famously occurred in May 2020 when fragments of another Chinese Long March 5B landed on the Ivory Coast, damaging several buildings. No injuries were reported, Muelhaupt said.
By contrast, he said, the United States and most other space-faring nations generally go to the added expense of designing their rockets to avoid large, uncontrolled re-entries.
That imperative has largely been observed since large chunks of the Nasa space station Skylab fell from orbit in 1979 and landed in Australia.
Overall, the odds of someone being injured or killed this weekend from falling rocket chunks range from one-in-1,000 to one-in-230.
That's well above the internationally accepted casualty risk threshold of one-in-10,000, he told reporters.
But the risk posed to any single individual is far lower, on the order of six chances per 10 trillion. By comparison, he said, the odds of being struck by lightning are about 80,000 times greater.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the probability of debris causing harm to aviation or to people and property on the ground was very low. He said most components of the rocket would be destroyed on re-entry.
Last year, Nasa and others accused China of being opaque after the Beijing government kept silent about the estimated debris trajectory or the reentry window of its last Long March rocket flight in May 2021.
Debris from that flight ended up landing harmlessly in the Indian Ocean.
A few hours after Zhao spoke on Wednesday, the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) gave the approximate position of its latest rocket in a rare public statement.
Read More on The Sun
Carol Vorderman looks amazing in leopard leggings as she reveals tiny waist
I called the cops on my neighbors because they don’t take their dog on walks
As of 4.00pm (0800 GMT), the agency said the rocket was circling the globe in an elliptical orbit that was 263.2 km high at its farthest point and 176.6 km high at its nearest.
No estimated re-entry details were given by CMSA on Wednesday.
Find out more about science
Want to know more about the weird and wonderful world of science? From the Moon to the human body, we have you covered…
- When is the next Full Moon?
- What is a Super Moon?
- What is SpaceX?
- Where is the edge of space?
- How many bones are in the human body?
- How many chromosomes do humans have?
- What causes a volcano to erupt?
- Which sharks attack the most humans?
- What are the conspiracy theories about the world ending?
- All the UFO sightings and whether aliens are real
- Which country has the most earthquakes?
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science team? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Read Full Article