According to CNN, debris from a massive Chinese rocket will reach the earth’s surface soon. According to the paper, the ‘out of reach’ debris will enter the earth’s atmosphere this weekend, but there is no need to be concerned since space debris has previously reached the earth’s surface without presenting a danger to life or safety.
The majority of debris burns up in the earth’s atmosphere before colliding with its surface, however, large objects may sometimes collide with the earth. The most recent example of this was last year when a massive piece of unregulated space debris flew directly over Los Angeles and New York City’s Central Park before crashing into the Atlantic Ocean.
Talking about phenomena, Space debris reentering the atmosphere and colliding with the earth’s surface is a rare occurrence, since space agencies aim to avoid leaving large objects in orbit that they can’t manage.
Although space junk poses little threat to life on Earth, it does pose a threat to active satellites that provide services such as monitoring the weather and observing the earth’s atmosphere, among other things.
According to CNN, the Chinese Long March 5B rocket is scheduled to reach Earth’s atmosphere about May 8, according to a statement from Defense Department spokesperson Mike Howard. According to him, the US Space Command is monitoring the rocket’s trajectory. Because of the speed at which the debris is moving, determining the precise position where it will land is challenging until it is a few hours away.
Howard told CNN that, “ We expect it to reenter sometime between the eighth and 10th of May. And in that two-day period, it goes around the world 30 times. The thing is travelling at like 18,000 miles an hour. And so if you’re an hour out at guessing when it comes down, you’re 18,000 miles out in saying where.”
“The risk that there will be some damage or that it would hit someone is pretty small — not negligible, it could happen — but the risk that it will hit you is incredibly tiny. And so I would not lose one second of sleep over this on a personal threat basis,” according to Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at Harvard University’s Astrophysics Center.
In light of the incident, he went on to say that there was no need for people to take any precautions.