More than 20 tons of Chinese rocket debris, as early as tomorrow night…
Large debris from the rocket launched by China between the 4th and 5th is expected to fall to Earth. The weight of the debris exceeds 20 tons, and some parts that have not been burned due to friction with the atmosphere may fall to the ground or sea.
Citing an analysis by the nonprofit scientific organization Aerospace, U.S. science and technology media Space and CNET said on the 2nd (local time) that the massive remains of China’s Changjung 5B rocket will re-enter Earth around 10 hours as of 11:17 p.m. on the 4th (World Agreement).
As of 8:17 a.m. on the 5th in Korean time, the debris will fall 10 hours earlier or later. The exact drop point is still being analyzed.
The falling debris was part of the Changjung 5B rocket to put Meng Tian, an experimental zone of the space station Tiangong, which China is building independently.
In Meng Tianan, an experimental module, various studies related to microgravity, physics, and aerospace technology can be conducted. For this reason, Meng Tian is considered a key area forming a 37-meter-long and 100-ton Tian Palace to be completed by the end of this year.
However, the Changjeong 5B, which completed its mission to transport Meng Tian, is orbiting the Earth and is gradually decreasing in altitude due to gravity.
The reason for the growing concern about the wreckage is the enormous weight. It covers as much as 21 tons. The length is also about the size of a 10-story building, Aerospace explained.
In the process of re-entry into the atmosphere, many of them will be exposed to heat and burned, but some are likely to remain. The probability is low, but it may fall where people live.
Cho Sung-ki, head of the Space Risk Monitoring Center at the Korea Astronomical Research Institute, said, “We are closely monitoring the fall situation,” adding, “We are continuously updating observation data and making predictions and analysis.”
The Ministry of Science and ICT said in a press release distributed at around 8:25 p.m. that “According to the results of the astronomical research institute’s orbit analysis, there is little possibility that Changjeong 5B will crash on the Korean Peninsula,” adding, “However, we plan to continue to monitor closely in preparation for possible orbital changes in the future.”
The wreckage of China’s Changjeong 5B fell to Earth in May last year and July this year and fell into the sea. However, in May 2020, some of the burned remains were found on the ground of the African country of Ivory Coast.
For this reason, it is pointed out that China should manage its rocket debris more thoroughly. In May last year, U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) director Bill Nelson pointed out in a statement that “it is clear that China does not meet responsible standards for space debris.”
However, at the time, China countered that most of the rockets were burned as they re-entered the atmosphere, and some of the debris also fell to the predicted point.
China’s rocket wreckage is causing tension among people on Earth to fall to the surface, but there is no alternative at the moment. Kim Han-taek, an honorary professor at Kangwon National University’s Graduate School of Law, an expert in space law, said, “There is no international compulsory regulation on how to deal with rocket debris,” adding, “We need to move at the U.N.”