Chinese 21-ton missile will crash uncontrollably

The rocket that launched a new module for China’s own space station into orbit in the past week is currently in uncontrolled orbit. The rocket weighs an estimated 21 tons.

On April 29, China launched the Tianhe module for its own space station, which should be ready by 2022. The module was successfully launched into orbit with a rocket. This rocket is now back in orbit on its own and looks set to crash in the coming days.

It is a Long March 5B missile of 30 meters. Experts report to The Guardian that the missile is no longer under control and will crash in an unknown location. The rocket flies more than 27,600 km/h at an altitude of 300 km and has already descended about 80 km in recent days. The rocket is expected to crash into Earth sometime between May 7 and 12.

Due to the speed, it is not clear where the rocket will crash, but there is a very good chance that the remains of the rocket will end up in the ocean. No one has ever been killed by debris from a spaceship. However, fragments have ended up in populated areas in the past. Last year, debris crashed into a cheese factory in Ivory Coast.

The Long March 5B rocket can be followed on this website.

Update: Tuesday 20:10: It was previously stated that the website on which the missile can be tracked belongs to the US military, but that is incorrect. This has been adjusted.