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China’s rocket is crashing back down to Earth, but where will it land?

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China is building its own space station, and last week, it launched the first module, the living quarters for future astronauts.

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The module was carried up to space on the back of China's Long March-5B rocket, and while the launch was deemed a success, the rocket is now in out-of-control orbit. The rocket weighs in at 21-tonnes, and according to SpaceNews, the rocket is expected to crash back down to Earth in the next coming days/weeks. At the moment, the rocket is traveling at 16,000 mph and is making one full rotation of Earth in just 90 minutes.

SpaceNews said, "It will be one of the largest instances of uncontrolled reentry of a spacecraft and could potentially land on an inhabited area". So, where will it land? Unfortunately, due to the multitude of possibilities, such as atmospheric drag, and solar activity influence, researchers are struggling to pinpoint the exact location of where it will crash land. SpaceNews said, "The high speed of the rocket body means it orbits the Earth roughly every 90 minutes and so a change of just a few minutes in reentry time results in reentry point thousands of kilometers away".

At the moment, projections estimate that the rocket could land anywhere between New York in the northern hemisphere and Wellington, New Zealand. It's very possible for the rocket to crash land in an inhabited area or even a city, but due to the planet being mostly water, it's more likely that it will hit somewhere in the ocean rather than land. For more information on this story, check out this link here.


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