Where will Long March 5B rocket debris fall? Roscosmos vs US Space Command
The US Space Command says that the debris from the large Chinese rocket Long March 5B is projected to crash back to Earth in the next few days. The agency is currently tracking the remains of the rocket, which had been launched by China in late April. Long March 5, also known as Chang Zheng 5, is a Chinese heavy-lift launch vehicle which delivered the Tianhe base module of the Chinese Tiangong manned orbital station into space on 29th April. Specifically, the CZ-5B-Y2 stage or the second stage is falling on earth. About 9 tons of the 18 ton stage are expected to reenter the earth.
What does Roscosmos say?
The Russian space agency Roscosmos says that the spent stage of the Chinese carrier rocket Chang Zheng 5B may enter the atmosphere on the night of May 9 to the south of Indonesia.
“As of May 8, the object can enter the dense layers of the Earth’s atmosphere after 2.30 Moscow time on May 9 south of Indonesia in the Timor Sea region,” reads the statement on the state corporation’s website.
Roskosmos says that the stage weighing 18 tons would not touch the territory of Russia.
What does US Space Command say?
The US Space Command predicted that the rocket stage would enter the atmosphere on May 9 at 5.52 Moscow time (plus / minus 6 hours) over the South Pacific Ocean near New Zealand at coordinates 39.4 degrees south latitude and 179.5 degrees west longitude.
What does China say?
The official representative of the Foreign Ministry of China, Wang Wenbin said that most of the debris will burn in the atmosphere stage and the threat of objects falling on Earth is extremely low.
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