International space scientists are in turmoil because of a Chinese missilea 21-tonne Long March 5B, was launched into orbit on Sunday, which is said to be in “out of control” free fall. The fear is that the missile may not burn up completely upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, and thus generate rain of debris like the one that hit the Indian Ocean a year ago.. The rocket blasted off Sunday from the Wenchang launch pad on the southern island of Hainan. It was carrying a new solar-powered laboratory to dock with China’s Tiangong space station. Experts fear that parts of the missile will “rain” on the ground, as happened in May 2021.
Chinese astronauts at the second unit of Tiangong Station
Beijing: “Minimum risk of harm”
Scientists also say that it will be difficult to predict the rocket’s flight path, due to fluctuations in the atmosphere caused by constant changes in solar activity. Jonathan McDowell, an expert at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said: “The problem with Chinese missiles is their risky and irresponsible design of launches. Normally, rocket projectiles return immediately upon takeoff without entering orbit, in order to avoid dispersal and the possibility of rain at an unsafe point, Chinese rockets do not instead.“.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the possibility of harm to something or someone is “too low“. Many scientists agree with China that the chances of the wreckage causing serious damage are slim, though others think launching projects like Long March 5B presents an unnecessary risk. In May 2021, it was the Long March that caused rain of debris inIndian OceanNorthern Maldives.
China launches second unit from its space station
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