Updated 05/07/2021 17:43
United States Armed Forces
are closely following the trail of the Chinese Long March 5B rocket.
specified this Friday the plan that the Joe Biden administration collates against the uncertainty generated by its uncontrolled descent towards Earth.
The head of the Army with the greatest technological and military power on the planet said that he will
not shoot down the debris from the massive rocket that China
sent into orbit last week, while being closely followed by the 18th Space Control Squadron of the US Space Command. UU, in the Vandenberg Air Force Base (California),
Lloyd Austin Austin clarified that
they do not have a plan to bring it down
, despite concerns that some of its debris will likely fall to Earth.
"We have the ability to do many things, but we do not have a plan to bring it down," said the secretary, who
hopes that the ship will fall into the ocean
, without causing harm to anyone or anything on Earth.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
There is a precedent for the United States shooting down space debris that falls to Earth.
The Navy launched a missile in 2008 to
destroy a malfunctioning spy satellite
that was out of orbit.
That satellite stopped working early in its mission, so it still had a lot of fuel on board and could have spread its toxic payload as a result of a probable impact.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the European Union Space Surveillance and Tracking Service (EUSST), which monitors the Chinese rocket, also sees it
unlikely that debris will fall in populated areas
of the Earth.
The rocket (a Long March 5B) was used last week by China to launch one of the modules of its future space station into space, and it is expected that throughout the weekend it will impact the Earth's atmosphere,
The debris can fall anywhere in the world, within a strip that exceeds 40 degrees north and south of the Earth's equator.
Taking into account that approximately 70% of that strip of the Earth is covered with water, "the most probable scenario is that the fall takes place in the sea."
Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard University, explained about the CBC site that it is almost impossible at this time to predict where and when the debris will fall, the astrophysicist dared to point to a place.
"If you want to bet on where something will land on Earth, bet on the Pacific. Because
the Pacific is the largest part of the Earth
. It's that simple," he acknowledged.
The predictions are still very uncertain since the object is out of control, and the most approximate estimates about where these debris would fall will only be possible to make a
few hours before
the object's actual
into the Earth's atmosphere.
A risk to the environment
Unlike the older Long March series rockets, the Long March 5B's center stage uses liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen as fuel.
The previous generation Long March 2, 3 and 4 series rockets utilize a
toxic hypergolic propellant combination of hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide
, which would make the debris surviving reentry potentially dangerous to anyone approaching them. remains.
Remnants of Chinese rocket launches from inland spaceports have rarely fallen within inhabited areas.
Furthermore, it is understood that China has taken precautions
not to cause damage by falling debris from the rocket
However, some aerospace organizations have argued that, beyond human risk, humanity should also bear in mind environmental damage, since
reentry can be highly polluting
Live: the out-of-control Chinese rocket is approaching Earth and it is not known where it will land
Where and when the wreckage of the runaway Chinese rocket could fall