OHIO (WJW) — U.S. Space Command has confirmed that a Chinese booster rocket headed for Earth has now arrived.
“Can confirm the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Long March 5B (CZ-5B) re-entered over the Indian Ocean at approx 10:45 am MDT on 7/30,” U.S. Space Command said on Twitter. “We refer you to the #PRC for further details on the reentry’s technical aspects such as potential debris dispersal+ impact location.”
Prior to the reentry on Saturday, it was unknown exactly when and where the rocket would crash down so a local astronomer has offered some insight on the chances that Ohio is in its path.
Astronomer Jay Reynolds says that while the million dollar question is where it’s going to land, it’s certain it’ll do some damage.
“No question, a great deal of the original booster is going to survive reentry,” Reynolds told FOX 8. “A lot depends on how the rocket is structurally built, determines how much of it survives.”
Although damage is inevitable, he says that, fortunately, it’s headed toward “a lot of unpopulated areas.”
He says the likely window of time it’ll enter is after 2 p.m. EST and away from our area of the planet.
“Northeast Ohio is perfectly safe. We are too far north to be in the risk zone,” he said. “Europe and much of North Africa appear to probably be safe.”
Experts with The Aerospace Corporation say the 23-ton booster won’t burn up completely in the Earth’s atmosphere and they expect that 20-40 percent of the wreckage will hit the ground.
For the latest updates on the rocket’s reentry and landing, check The Aerospace Corporation website, which is being updated regularly.