A fragment of the 23-ton Long March 5B rocket is adrift and heading for Earth

Part of the Long March 5B, a Chinese rocket, is alone in space and could collide with Earth, but no one can say exactly where it really is.

China recently launched Long March 5B to help propel its space station into space. Nevertheless, part of the Chinese rocket broke apart and is now found about 160 kilometers above the atmosphere in free fall towards Earth at more than 28,000 km / h.

An entry into the atmosphere by Monday?

If the latter keeps this speed, it could come into contact with the atmosphere by Monday – although this is still uncertain. Indeed, there is little chance that it will collide in a single block on Earth. Given the speed at which this last fall on our planet, it would disintegrate thanks to the heat, but some pieces could survive and continue their races towards the blue planet at a considerably reduced speed of about 200 km / h.

Nevertheless, the Aerospace Corporation association predict a collision with Earth this weekend. For the association, the fragments would land in the northeast of Africa. Other researchers speculate that the fragments will crash towards New York, but this is much less likely. In short, no one is able to say precisely the place and the exact time of the impact since it depends on many factors like the weather and the intensity of the sun in the area.

Part of the Long March 5B rocket weighs over 23 tons and measures the equivalent of ten floors.
Part of the Long March 5B rocket weighs over 23 tons and measures the equivalent of ten floors.

Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts said, “ letting such things happen makes China irresponsible “. The US government has also driven the point home on China by subtly declaring ” that it is in the common interest of all nations to act responsibly in outer space to ensure the safety, stability, security and long-term sustainability of outer space activities. ».

Long March 5B would be just one example

China has yet to respond to statements from the US government or from the association. In the meantime, the country still has plans to send rockets and other elements into space, which worries some countries about future space activities.

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