Today, the debris from the Chinese Long March 5B rocket will fall to Earth. Scientists predicted the possible places where this could happen

Anna Kholodnova

Scientists have predicted where and when debris from the Chinese Long March 5B launch vehicle may fall. writes about it.

The 23-ton debris from the main stage of the Long March 5B rocket reached Earthʼs orbit on Monday, October 31, following the launch of the third and final module for Chinaʼs Tiangong space station.

This huge piece of space debris is expected to fall to Earth on Friday, November 4. Most of the rocket body will burn up in the atmosphere, but some of the stronger parts will reach Earth.

The US Aerospace Corporation predicts Long March 5B will re-enter the atmosphere on Friday at 7:20 a.m. ET (11:20 a.m. GMT). The error is three hours.

This interval means that debris could fall on parts of North America, almost all of Central America, most of Africa and parts of southeastern Australia.

“Our latest prediction for the return of the rocket body is: 04 November 2022 11:20 UTC ± 3 hours. The return will be via one of the ground tracks shown here," the Aerospace Corporation said on Twitter.

  • The only case when space debris fell on a person was registered in 1997 in the American state of Oklahoma. Then a piece of space debris landed on the shoulder of a woman named Lottie Williams. She was not hurt.
  • In 2020, debris from a Chinese missile damaged several buildings in Côte dʼIvoire.
  • On July 24, 2022, China launched the second of three modules of its space station. The 23-tonne Wentian (Search for the Heavens) laboratory module launched on a Chinese Long March 5B rocket from the Space Launch Center in the southern province of Hainan. Wentian separated from the rocket about 10 minutes after launch.
  • On July 31, fragments of a Chinese rocket fell to Earth over the Indian Ocean. NASA said Beijing had not provided the specific trajectory information needed to know where the space debris might fall.
  • In early August 2022, a farmer from Australia found part of a SpaceX capsule that fell from space in a field. This was confirmed by the Australian Space Agency (ASA).