On 24 July, a massive Chinese rocket carrying the Wentian laboratory module, delivered a new module to a space station. It took off from Hainan Island and it successfully docked with the orbital outpost.
After the successful docking, the rocket has gone into uncontrolled descent towards Earth’s atmosphere.
Now the US Space Command is following the rocket’s trajectory.
It’s been reported that the uncontrolled descent is the third time that China has been accused of not properly handling space debris.
Michael Byers, a professor at the University of British Columbia told CNN that although the 20-ton metal object will break up as it enters the atmosphere, numerous pieces – some of them quite large – will reach the surface.
Although space debris doesn’t pose a massive risk to humans, larger parts falling in areas where people live could cause serious injury.
“The risk is entirely avoidable since technologies and mission designs now exist that can provide controlled reentries (usually into remote areas of oceans) instead of uncontrolled and therefore entire random ones,” Byers said.
The US Space Command has said that it will track the Chinese rocket’s fall back to Earth while the 18th Space Defense Squadron, part of the United States Military that track reentires, will provide daily updates on the rocket’s location as it descends.
Image credit: Phys.org