Chinese Rocket is Falling to Earth, Seen in Iowa
A giant chunk of a Chinese rocket that launched on April 29 is zipping around Earth in low orbit — and no one is for sure where it will land.
The core of the 22.5-ton rocket will reenter Earth sometime soon and is nearly 100-feet long and over 16-feet wide.
The rocket was carrying a module for China’s space station (which is expected to be completed in 2022) After the module was deployed, the rocket core was expected to make maneuvers for a controlled reentry into Earth's atmosphere, but that didn't happen.
Spacenews.com says that it is orbiting Earth every 90 minutes and is traveling at over four miles per second. (+/- 17,000 MPH)
It is most likely to splash into an ocean or an isolated area, but there’s still a chance that it could hit elsewhere.
Aerospace.com predicts that it will begin reentry on May 10th or May 11th.
You can track the rocket here.
Space.com says the reason that it’s unknown where it will fall is because there are too many uncertainties involved, adding: "The high speed of the rocket body means it orbits the Earth roughly every 90 minutes and so a change of just a few minutes in reentry time results in reentry point thousands of kilometers away.”
In case you’re curious; according to space.com, the odds of a person being hit by space debris is estimated at one in several trillion. There are currently more than one million space debris objects in Earth's orbit that are larger than one centimeter.
The rocket can be seen in Iowa: