While it was highly unlikely that it would cause damage or hurt anyone, “the risk is real and cannot be ignored,” hy het gesê.
In Mei 2021, NASA lambasted China for its failure to
“meet responsible standards
” after debris from an out-of-control rocket used to launch China’s space station plunged into the Indian Ocean
The Russian rocket part is thought to be smaller than the Chinese debris, weighing around 4 tons without fuel, compared to around 20 tons for the Chinese Long March 5B rocket, said Krag.
The Chinese Long March rocket was one of the largest objects in recent memory to strike the Earth after falling out of orbit, following a 2018 incident in which a piece of a Chinese space lab broke up over the Pacific Ocean and the 2020 reentry of another Long March 5B rocket.
The Persei booster was about
10 meter (33 voete) long compared to 32-meter
(105-voet) Chinese Long March 5B rocket
, said Jonathan McDowell
, an astronomer at the Center for Astrophysics – Harvard & Smithsonian
. While it weighed less
, it was carrying about
16 tons of propellant on board
, hy het gesê.
Die “total mass is about the same as the Chinese stage, but most of it is probably liquid and will burn up in the atmosphere, so the risk to the ground is significantly less. ek dink,” said McDowell via email.
He added that the Russian rocket stage was not intended to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere in this way.
“It was meant to end up in an orbit where it would stay for many thousands of years. The rocket failed to restart. The Chinese stage reentry was by DESIGN, they deliberately left it in a low orbit.”
He said the rocket stage would reenter between 1 nm. en 5 nm. ET Woensdag.
Russia’s space agency Roscosmos told CNN the launch was operated by the Russian Ministry of Defence, which did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
Best international practice for spent rocket parts or spacecraft at the end of their life span was typically to make a controlled reentry and fall to Earth in an uninhabited area — usually a remote part of the Pacific Ocean, Krag said.
Krag added that
, gemiddeld, 100 aan 200 tons of space junk reenter the Earth’s atmosphere in an uncontrolled way every year
. Only one person is known to have been hit by space junk
— n vrou named Lottie Williams in Texas in 1997
. She lived to tell the tale