US closely tracking uncontrolled Chinese rocket re-entering atmosphere: Pentagon

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Published: May 06, 2021, 07:50 AM(IST)

File photo of this Chinese rocket Photograph:( Reuters )

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The rocket is supposed to enter back into the atmosphere around Saturday with an almost intact body while coming down

The Pentagon is fully aware of and is tracking the uncontrolled entry of the Chinese rocket into the atmosphere this weekend, a spokesman has announced.

On Thursday, China launched the first of the three elements for its space station, the CSS. This was powered by the Long March 5B rocket, which is now being tracked by the Pentagon.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is "aware and he knows the space command is tracking, literally tracking this rocket debris".

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The rocket is supposed to enter back into the atmosphere around Saturday with an almost intact body while coming down.

Experts have revealed that after the rocket was separated from the space station module, the rocket began to orbit the Earth in an uncharted and irregular trajectory and it slowly lost its altitude. This made it almost impossible to make any predictions about where, when, and how will it re-enter the atmosphere or where will it hit the ground.

There is also a possibility that the rocket might break apart upon its re-entry into the atmosphere. In such a case, only small debris of the broken rocket might land on the Earth. However, another possibility is also that the rocket, if it does not break, makes a splash in an ocean.

"We're tracking it. We're following it as closely as we can," Kirby said. "It's just a little too soon right now to know where it's going to go or what, if anything, can be done about that."

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