Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Wednesday (local time) that the missile is currently sinking “almost intact” and is expected to enter the atmosphere again on Saturday. Calculating the exact breakdown site is currently nearly impossible due to uncontrolled drowning.
Last Thursday, the missile launched the first module assembled from a new Chinese space station. After detaching from the component, it began to orbit the Earth in an irregular path and has slowly lost its height since then.
Since about 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, the subsidence is most likely at sea. The occurrence of a crash in a populated area or on board a ship is not excluded. So far, according to Kirby, it’s too early to act.
This is not the first time that the Chinese space agency has lost control of a spacecraft. In 2018, the Tiangong-1 space laboratory crashed when it returned to the atmosphere. However, China denied that it had lost control.
Building its own space station is a key component of China’s ambitious space program. Operations are scheduled to begin next year.
Publication date: May 6, 2021, 9:38 am
Last update: May 6, 2021, 10:13 am
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