Gigantic Chinese Rocket Will Crash into The Earth This Week
As a long time nerd, it's an understatement to say that I love space exploration. There is one thing I'm not a fan of, however, and that is when pieces of the rockets and space craft comes crashing back down in ways that the eggheads who run the world's space programs don't plan on.
That's the potential issue going on right now after a malfunction with China's Long March 5b rocket. On Wednesday, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) launched this behemoth with a payload set to add to their space station under construction in orbit. Due to technical error, the huge main booster stage didn't fall back into a pre-determined spot in the ocean (as in not populated). It instead continued on it's path into space. The problem lies in that whole "what goes up must come down," adage.
Currently, this 10-story, roughly 21-ton chunk of space debris is in a degrading orbit right now. According to Business insider, officials know for sure that it is going to crash back into our planet - they're just not sure where. Seeing as Earth is a pretty big place, that's not reassuring.
In an effort to calm and inform the public on this threat, scientists with the program say that the debris that doesn't burn up on re-entry will most likely hit water - but that assumption is only based on the fact that our home planet is 71% water, and around 97% of that is contained in the world's oceans. Since they have absolutely zero control of this gigantic chunk of metal - it's just wishful thinking.
The best guess on when this possible cataclysm will happen is in the next "2-3 days." If, for some reason, it comes down on Louisiana and you happen to stumble across this astro-wreckage from China - please don't touch it. Sure, it would make a great conversation piece for your deer camp - but it's most likely toxic and dangerous. Better let the authorities take care of this one.