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Pentagon tracking out-of-control Chinese rocket that could reenter Earth's atmosphere

May 4, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 30.2%. 1 min read.

In this photo released by China???s Xinhua News Agency, a Long March 5B rocket carrying a module for a Chinese space station lifts off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in Wenchang in southern China???s Hainan Province, Thursday, April 29, 2021. China has launched the core module on Thursday for its first permanent space station that will host astronauts long-term. (Ju Zhenhua/Xinhua via AP)

The Pentagon has said it is tracking a large Chinese rocket that is out of control and set to reenter Earth's atmosphere this weekend, raising concerns about where its debris may make impact.

Washington (CNN)The Pentagon has said it is tracking a large Chinese rocket that is out of control and set to reenter Earth's atmosphere this weekend, raising concerns about where its debris may make impact.

The Chinese Long March 5B rocket is expected to enter Earth's atmosphere "around May 8," according to a statement from Defense Department spokesperson Mike Howard, who said the US Space Command is tracking the rocket's trajectory.

The rocket's "exact entry point into the Earth's atmosphere" can't be pinpointed until within hours of reentry, Howard said, but the 18th Space Control Squadron will provide daily updates on the rocket's location through the Space Track website.

The rocket was used by the Chinese to launch part of their space station last week.

While most space debris objects burn up in the atmosphere, the rocket's size -- 22 tons -- has prompted concern that large parts could reenter and cause damage if they hit inhabited areas.

by summa-bot

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