13:52 GMT16 June 2021
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    The Chinese Chang Zheng 5B (CZ-5B or “Long March” 5B), a heavy-class carrier rocket, was launched last week. Its core stage, weighing in at 18 tonnes, does not have a means of navigation and its uncontrolled descent is being tracked by the world's biggest space organizations.

    The head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, tweeted a map fo the earth on Thursday, showing the possible crash zone of the core stage of the CZ-5B.

    A more accurate calculation will only be possible when the rapidly tumbling rocket section enters the atmosphere, about 24 hours before it is predicted to hit the Earth.

    The strike zone currently excludes the northern US, Canada, the biggest part of Europe, Russia and most of central Asia. In the high-risk category, however, is Beijing, some regions in Spain, Italy and Greece, New York state, southern Chile and New Zealand’s city of Wellington, according to ESA estimates.

    On Thursday, Roscosmos announced that it is closely monitoring the uncontrolled deorbit of the CZ-5B launch stage.

    Specialists will only be able to more precisely predict the crash zone after the stage enters the Earth's atmosphere, which is expected on 8 May. According to existing predictions, part of the stage structure will burn up in the dense layers of the atmosphere, although non-combustible structural elements can strike the earth's surface.

    On 29 April, the heavy launch rocket Chang Zheng 5B successfully delivered into near-earth orbit the main module Tianhe (“Harmony of the Heavens”) as part of a future Chinese orbital station Tiangong (“Heavenly Palace”).

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    Tags:
    Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, China space program, rockets
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