Pentagon tracking out-of-control Chinese rocket that could reenter Earth's atmosphere

By Barbara Starr8 days ago

Washington (CNN)The Pentagon has said it is tracking a large Chinese rocket that is out of control and set to reenter Earth's atmosphere this weekend, raising concerns about where its debris may make impact.

The Chinese Long March 5B rocket is expected to enter Earth's atmosphere around May 8, according to a statement from Defense Department spokesperson Mike Howard, who said the US Space Command is tracking the rocket's trajectory.

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The rocket's exact entry point into the Earth's atmosphere can't be pinpointed until within hours of reentry, Howard said, but the 18th Space Control Squadron will provide daily updates on the rocket's location through the Space Track website. The rocket was used by the Chinese to launch part of their space station last week. While most space debris objects burn up in the atmosphere, the rocket's size -- 22 tons -- has prompted concern that large parts could reenter and cause damage if they hit inhabited areas.

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