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Chinese Long March 5 Rocket to re-enter the earth’s atmosphere


Chinese Long March 5 Rocket to re-enter the earth’s atmosphere

Chinese Long March 5 Rocket

Remnants of China’s Long March 5B Space Rocket are expected to re-enter the earth’s atmosphere today.

The 57-meter rocket carried a module into space for a new Chinese space station on April 29. The station is only the second to be built after the US banned China from participating in the existing International Space Station.

The rocket’s exact impact zone is uncertain. Experts are only certain that it will fall between 41 degrees north and 41 degrees south—an area spanning a vast area of the earth. However, experts assess the chance of rocket debris hitting people as minimal. Typically, space debris burns up upon re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere. However, the size of this rocket will result in the largest debris since the United States’ Skylab space station fell to earth in 1979.

Expect such missions to increase in the medium to long-term as China and Russia ramp up their cooperation for joint lunar explorations and potentially a joint Moonbase. These ambitions likely aim to counter American plans for manned missions to the Moon for the first time since 1972—a significant reversal of earlier US policy to focus on Mars. Strategic competition on the Moon is set to increase.

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