The danger of 21 tons on Earth‍V! Chinese rocket’s booster out of control in space

China on Sunday launched the first Lab Module Wentian to build its own space station in space. The stage of the rocket through which it was sent to space is going to fall on the earth on its own. This is the third time that China has opted not to control the first-stage disposal of its ‘Long March 5B rocket’. Earlier in 2020 and 2021, the debris of Chinese rockets reached the earth uncontrollably. Jonathan McDowell, a veteran tracker tracking these events at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said the 21-ton stage appears to be floating on its own.

According to, the US military has not yet issued any alert regarding this, nor is there any discussion on social media about it. In general, the risk of casualties from a rocket stage fall is very low, but the Long March 5B rocket has a much larger body. Significantly, China launched the Wentian Space Station module on Sunday. It was docked with the Tiangong Space Station as per the pre-planned plan. The practice of allowing these giant stages to fall uncontrollably to Earth poses ‘unnecessary risks’, a study in Nature Astronomy says.

In April this year, shining light was also seen in the skies of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and debris came and fell in many areas. Regarding this, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) had said that it was a ‘close match’ of the re-entry of the Chinese rocket launched in February 2021. When the rocket’s bodies are saved from re-entering the atmosphere, the rest of its parts such as nozzles, rings and tanks can impact Earth.

At that time, space-watcher Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics had told that the debris was part of China’s 3B rocket. Such things create a lot of heat and friction when they enter the atmosphere. This can burn them. But big things never get completely destroyed. Now, nothing can be said for sure about where the 21-ton stage floating in space will fall. Although the chances of damage due to this are less, but a challenge cannot be ruled out.

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