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Chinese Rocket Debris Weighing 25 Tons Will Fall To Earth Around July 31 – Some Experts Say

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China’s latest large piece of space junk will fall back to Earth by the end of the month, experts say. The object in question is the approximately 25-ton center stage of the Long March 5B rocket that on Sunday, July 24, launched into orbit the second module of the Tiangong space station, which is being built in China. It’s too early to tell where the 25-ton piece of space junk will land.

According to researchers at Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Orbital Reentry and Debris Studies (CORDS), the rocket body is expected to remain aloft for about a week. They analyzed tracking data collected by the U.S. Space Force’s Space Surveillance Network and predict that the rocket body will re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere at about 3:30 a.m. EDT (7:30 a.m. GMT) on July 31, or roughly 22 hours.

If the Chinese space mission was a success, debris is now wandering in space without any surveillance.

This Sunday, July 24, China launched into space the second of three modules of its space station under construction, the Chinese Space Station. About eight minutes after liftoff, the 18-meter-long laboratory module separated from the launch rocket to dock with Tianhe, the first module of the CSS where astronauts live. A third module should complete the station next October.

A mission that has been a success. “This is the first time that China must dock such large vehicles together, it is a delicate operation,” explained to AFP Jonathan McDowell, astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Nevertheless, if everything went smoothly, China is today at the heart of a lively controversy since several debris of the aforementioned rocket are now traveling in space without any control. These debris will most certainly crash on Earth in the next few days, as revealed by The Aerospace Corporation.

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