Part of a huge rocket that launched the first Chinese module for its Tianhe space station is falling back to Earth, and could arrive in an uncontrolled way at an unknown landing point, although many claim it may land in Italy, in an area including between the center and the south of the country. In fact, currently the fall could occur in the range between 41.5 degrees in the North and 41.5 degrees in the South.
The 30-meter-high core of the rocket Long March 5B launched the “Heavenly Harmony” unmanned core module into low Earth orbit on April 29, from Wenchang in China’s Hainan province. The Long March 5B then entered a temporary orbit, setting the stage for one of the largest ever controlled re-entries. Some experts fear it may land on an inhabited area. “Potentially not good”said Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at Harvard University’s Astrophysics Center. “The last time a Long March 5B rocket was launched we found large and long metal bars flying in the sky and damaging several buildings in the Ivory Coast “he said. “Most of them burned, but there were these huge pieces of metal that have fallen to the ground. We are very lucky that no one was injured “.
On Tuesday, the core orbited the Earth every 90 minutes about 27,600 km per hour with an altitude of over 300 km. The US military called it 2021-035B and its path can be seen on websites at this link. Since the weekend it has dropped almost 80 km in altitude e SpaceNews reported that amateur ground observations showed that the rocket was crashing uncontrollably. This, and its speed, make it impossible to predict where it will land when Earth’s atmosphere eventually pulls it down, although McDowell said that the most likely result is that it will fall overboard, as the ocean covers about 71% of the planet. However, it is too early to draw any conclusions because the orbit could undergo changes.