Giant Piece Of Chinese Rocket Smashes On Earth

It’s been just reported that the remains of a massive segment of a Chinese rocket crashed in the Atlantic Ocean this week. This represents the most significant uncontrolled descent of a piece of space debris that was made by humans.

According to the latest data coming from Science Alert, the core stage of a Chinese Long March 5B (CZ–5B) rocket, which was successfully launched on May 5, was a few days in orbit as part of its mission.

After spending time on orbit, it reentered our planet’s atmosphere and fell to Earth in the ocean off the west coast of Mauritania in northwest Africa.

This descent was confirmed by the 18th Space Control Squadron – this is a unit of the US Air Force.

An extended window of uncontrollable descent 

It was notable not only for the enormous mass but also for the extent of the window of the uncontrollable descent that had experts wondering where it will eventually land.

“At 17.8 tonnes, it is the most massive object to make an uncontrolled reentry since the 39-tonne Salyut–7 in 1991, unless you count OV–102 Columbia in 2003,” according to astronomer Jonathan McDowell from the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics.

The de-orbiting of the rocket might have been an uncontrolled one, but it was not planned.

It’s important to mention the fact that throughout the history, space launches have involved massive amounts of spacecraft and components that re-entered our planet’s atmosphere as debris in controlled maneuvers, but also in uncontrolled descents as well.

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