24.07.2022, China, Wenchang: Die Trägerrakete «Langer Marsch 5B Y3» mit dem Labormodul «Wentian» hebt vom Wenchang Space Launch Center ab. (zu dpa «Chinesische Raketentrümmer auf Erde erwartet») Foto: Li Gang/Xinhua/AP/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

According to experts, debris from a Chinese rocket is expected to hit Earth from space at the weekend. Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Reentry Studies (CORDS) in California expects the Long March 5B rocket to reenter between the afternoon and late evening Saturday.

According to Welt, experts expect the debris rain to begin at 6:16 p.m., “somewhere between Japan and California.” According to experts, however, the probability that people or populated areas will be hit is extremely low.

The trajectory of the 33 meter long and 20 ton upper rocket stage had previously been observed with concern by space experts. China had received criticism from NASA for the fact that the rocket did not break up into smaller parts when it entered the atmosphere, as is the international standard.

The country launched the second module for its Tiangong (Heaven’s Palace) space station, which is currently under construction, with a laboratory on board last Sunday. The Long March 5B rocket placed the module in orbit within minutes.

China’s space agency spoke of a “complete success” after the launch. The new module is to dock with the core module “Tianhe”, which was launched in April 2021.

According to this, in May 2021, the remains of a rocket used for this purpose fell into the Indian Ocean near the Maldives archipelago. According to China’s space program, “most of it” was burned up and destroyed when it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere. Even then there was criticism from NASA.