China's out-of-control rocket debris, which is hurtling towards Earth and expected to streak through the atmosphere this weekend, is under Beijing's close watch and poses little risk to anyone on Earth.

Iran PressAsia: Remnants of a large Chinese rocket are expected to streak through the atmosphere this weekend in an uncontrolled re-entry that Beijing says it is closely tracking but poses little risk to anyone on Earth.

The Long March 5B rocket blasted off Sunday to deliver a laboratory module to the new Chinese space station under construction in orbit, marking the third flight of China’s most powerful rocket since its maiden launch in 2020, Al Jazeera reported.

As occurred during its first two flights, the rocket’s entire main-core stage – which is 100 feet (30 meters) long and weighs 22 tonnes (48,500 pounds) – has already reached low orbit and is expected to tumble back towards Earth once atmospheric friction drags it downward, according to American experts.

Ultimately, the rocket body will disintegrate as it plunges through the atmosphere but is large enough that numerous chunks will likely survive a fiery re-entry to rain debris over an area some 2,000km (1,240 miles) long by about 70km (44 miles) wide, independent US-based analysts said on Wednesday.

The probable location of the debris field is impossible to pinpoint in advance, though experts will be able to narrow the potential impact zone closer to re-entry in the days ahead.

The latest available tracking data projects re-entry will occur at about 00:24 GMT on Sunday, plus or minus 16 hours, according to the Aerospace Corp, a government-funded nonprofit research center near Los Angeles.


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