An Out Of Control Rocket Might Hit Earth Soon (5/8-5/10/2021)

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Noah MacAulay, Writer

*Update: The rocket has struck earth on 5/10/2021, it crashed into the ocean*

        China has started to build its presence in space, building relationships with Russia for a moon base and launching their own space station. The Heavenly Harmony is an item transport rocket which was launched on April 29 2021 for bringing space station parts into orbit. This rocket a critical difference then the recent rockets launched by the united states, it has no control over the cores reentry to earth. There are no steering units installed upon the rocket and the best security measure taken has been the hope it will burn up upon entering Earth’s atmosphere. The rocket core is currently (as of 5/7/2021) orbiting earth at 17150 miles per hour, fully circling earth in an hour and a half while it makes its way lower and lower towards earth’s surface. The Chinese government claims the 21 ton rocket will harmlessly land in the sea, however, the last (identical) rocket launched by the Chinese space agency scattered many very large pieces of metal that damaged some buildings in the ivory coast. Jonathan McDowell, Astrophysicist at Harvard University said the re entry would be the “equivalent of a small plane crash scattered over 100 miles”, no uncontrolled re-entries over 10 tons have happened since 1990 while the Heavenly Harmony weighs 21 tons (47,040 pounds). Estimates put around 20-40% of the 100 ft Rocket Cores’ material surviving re-entry and hitting earth. The rocket’s incredible speed makes it impossible to predict and landing locations will not be foreseeable until 6 hours before contact. This rocket was the first of 10 more missions designed to deliver space parts and the Chinese space agency has made no clear intentions about changing the design of the rockets. The White house has called for more responsible space behaviors and press secretary Jen Psaki has said “The United States is committed to addressing the risks of growing congestion due to space debris and growing activity in space and we want to work with the international community to promote leadership and responsible space behaviors.” The United States military has said they have no plan to shoot down the rocket and they hope it will land in the ocean while many Chinese news programs have condemned the worry as “western hype”.

 

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