The Chinese-made 21-ton Long March 5B rocket is expected to fall back to earth in an uncontrolled re-entry after it was used to launch a space station module last week.
“They’re deliberately just not caring and leaving it to reenter,” said Jonathan McDowell, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
According to McDowell, the last Long March 5B rocket which fell to the earth damaged several buildings in the Ivory Coast.
“It will be one of the largest instances of uncontrolled reentry of a spacecraft and could potentially land on an inhabited area,” added Spacenews.com writer Andrew Jones.
The US military has designated the Long March 5B rocket that is about to reenter the atmosphere 2021-035B and said it was orbiting Earth around every 90 minutes at about 27,600km/h and an altitude of more than 300km.
McDowell said parts of the rocket might burn up upon reentry but some pieces might make it and would be equivalent to “a small plane crash scattered over 100 miles”.
“The Long March 5B core stage is seven times more massive than the Falcon 9 second stage that caused a lot of press attention a few weeks ago when it re-entered above Seattle and dumped a couple of pressure tanks on Washington state,” warned McDowell.