Part of a Chinese missile would currently fly uncontrolled through space. Space experts say it is likely to crash somewhere on Earth soon, The Guardian reports Tuesday.
China launched the first part of its new space station at the end of April. The missile with the so-called Tianhe module took off from the South China island province of Hainan. After 492 seconds, Tianhe separated from the rocket and entered orbit as planned.
However, it appears that the core of the rocket is now flying uncontrolled through space. For example, she would have lost about 80 kilometers in height in recent days. Meanwhile, the rocket orbits at a speed of 27,600 kilometers per hour around the earth every 90 minutes at an altitude of approximately 300 kilometers.
Because it flies so fast and has to pass through the atmosphere, it is impossible to predict where the missile will crash. However, according to experts, there is a good chance that this will be in the sea, because the earth’s surface consists of about 71 percent of ocean water. They expect the missile to crash around May 10.
It has also gone wrong before. “The last time a similar rocket was launched in China, it ended with large long metal rods flying through the air and damaging several buildings in Ivory Coast,” space explorer Jonathan McDowell told The Guardian .
Although most of the pieces had been burned by the atmosphere at the time, huge chunks of metal also hit the ground, he said. “We were very lucky that no one was injured at the time,” said McDowell.