In the next few days, the remains of the Long March-5B rocket (Changzheng-5bi) that recently delivered the Wentian laboratory modules for the new Chinese orbital station will be brought to Earth. It is not yet clear where exactly.
This rocket stage has a mass of approximately 23 tons. While most of the object will be destroyed by the atmosphere, some pieces can reach the surface and cause damage to or even death if they land on the ground. The article that we wrote the other day seems to be as relevant as it can. Scientists predict that space debris could kill someone in 10 years. This is a conservative prediction.
This is the third instance of China being the victim of such incidents. A stage of the same rocket was also damaged in an incident in 2020. Another stage of the same rocket fell into an ocean a year later. It is unclear why China continues to launch missiles this way.
The wreckage will be found on the ground in the early part of next week, bringing us back to the upcoming event. It is currently unclear if this will occur between 41 degrees south and 41 degrees nord. Scientists will not be able to pinpoint the exact location of the impact until a few hours after it enters the upper atmosphere. This will likely occur around August 1.