USA has no plan to shoot down Chinese rocket

Alonzo Simpson
May 8, 2021

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters in Beijing, "Most of the components will be ablated and destroyed during the re-entry process" into the atmosphere.

The Long March-5B Y2 rocket, carrying the core module of China's space station Tianhe, sits at the launch pad of Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan province, China, on April 23.

He said that the experts are working out the timing and the likely place of the fall of the rocket stage.

In an attempt to develop new materials and promote the study of bioscience, China is scheduled to continue sending modules to complete the construction of the nation's first space station, named Tiangong, by the end of 2022.

Once it had released the mission's payload - the Tianhe module, which will be the living quarters of the station - the Long March 5B rocket core entered its own temporary orbit.

Song claimed China's "space monitoring network" will keep a close eye on the falling rocket and "take necessary measures if any damage would occur to passing ships", but in reality the impact region will not be known with any precision until just hours before the debris comes down.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Thursday the US has no plans to shoot down a Chinese rocket hurling back toward earth this weekend, but he hopes it will land in the ocean.

Where will the Chinese rocket land?

. McDowell told CNN that pinpointing where debris could be headed is nearly impossible because of the speed the rocket is traveling - even slight changes in circumstance drastically change the trajectory.

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The non-profit Aerospace Corp. expects the debris to hit the Pacific near the equator after passing over eastern US cities.

Thursday, Mujahid expected that the Chinese rocket would cross Jordanian skies from Egypt at around 12:05am Friday.

It's roughly 100 feet long and and would be among the biggest pieces of space debris to fall to Earth.

The Communist Party newspaper Global Times said the stage's "thin-skinned" aluminum-alloy exterior will easily burn up in the atmosphere, posing an extremely remote risk to people.

Has a rocket fallen to Earth before?


Mr McDowell did add that there was a chance that pieces could fall over land, like in May 2020, when pieces from another Chinese rocket came down over the Ivory Coast, damaging several buildings but leaving no one injured.

The rocket that fell last May was the heaviest debris to fall uncontrolled since the former Soviet space station Salyut 7 in 1991. In 2019, the space agency controlled the demolition of its second station, Tiangong-2, in the atmosphere.

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If all attendees are fully vaccinated or can show recent proof of a negative COVID-19 test, the distance requirement is waived. In New York beginning May 10, the outdoor social gathering limit will increase from 200 to 500 people.

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