It’s A Bird!… It’s A Plane!… It’s A Giant Rocket From China!

Alexzander (AJ) Braaten, Reporter

On April 28th a rocket launch happened in China that was meant to send a module for their planned Tianhe Space Station… It was successful, well for the most part… The core of said rocket did its job and pulled the cargo through the atmosphere. But it also got stuck up there and will more than likely make re-entry in the coming days. The core weighed about 19.6 tons, but a lot of that weight will be burnt up upon re-entry or was burnt up during the launch. Sadly this isn’t the first time something like this has happened, as the same type of rocket crashed into West Africa last year.

The Spaceship was a Long March 5B, the biggest rocket in China’s arsenal. It was launched from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site. The core, a 100-foot tall behemoth was expected to make a controlled re-entry, but it is still up in the Earth’s atmosphere. It is moving around the earth at an average speed of 15,840 MPH and is circling the earth once every 90 minutes. Because of all these factors, it is impossible to accurately predict where the rocket debris will land. Most likely the debris will land in an ocean, but there also is the terrifying thought that it could land somewhere inhabited. Astrophysicist, Jonathan McDowell says that the pieces that survive re-entry will be “Like a small plane crash scattered over a hundred miles.” Luckily, since it was an unmanned launch nobody is hurt yet, and because 71% of the earth’s surface is water so hopefully it will land harmlessly into the ocean.

Any time now the debris of the rocket will leave the pull of our atmosphere and come crashing down to earth. Hopefully it misses all inhabited areas, unlike their launch failure from last year that hit parts of West Africa and the Atlantic Ocean. You can track the rocket’s trajectory and current location at Space-Track.Org, It might come in handy to know, the rocket could land anywhere.