Pentagon on Watch as Out-of-Control Chinese Rocket Nears Earth Atmosphere Reentry

May 5, 2021Nolan Peterson
out-of-control Chinese rocket reentry Earth's atmosphere

Space probe from the Tianwen-1 mission is launched by a Long March 5 rocket in July 2020. Photo by China News via Wikimedia Commons.

An out-of-control Chinese rocket is expected to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere on Saturday. And no one knows where it will land.

The Pentagon announced in a statement that it’s keeping an eye on a Chinese Long March 5B rocket, which launched a section of China’s new space station into orbit on April 28.

The rocket’s “exact entry point into the Earth’s atmosphere cannot be pinpointed until within hours of its reentry,” US Space Command announced in a Tuesday statement.

About 100 feet in length, and weighing some 22 tons, the rocket will be among the largest man-made objects to make an uncontrolled reentry into Earth’s atmosphere.

US Space Command is monitoring the rocket’s trajectory, the Pentagon said. The 18th Space Control Squadron is offering updates on the rocket’s flight path through the Space Track website.

China’s space station is set for completion in 2022.

Read Next: US Air Force Transports Deliver Aid to COVID-Ravaged India

Nolan Peterson
Nolan Peterson
Nolan Peterson is a senior editor for Coffee or Die Magazine and the author of Why Soldiers Miss War. A former US Air Force special operations pilot and a veteran of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Nolan is now a conflict journalist and author whose adventures have taken him to all seven continents. In addition to his memoirs, Nolan has published two fiction collections. He lives in Kyiv, Ukraine, with his wife, Lilya.
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