Part of Chinese rocket falling back to Earth, landing location unknown

The White House has called for responsible space behaviours as a Chinese rocket, thought to be out of control looks set to crash back to Earth.

The US Space Command is tracking debris from the Long March 5B, which last week launched the main module of China’s first permanent space station into orbit. The roughly 30 metre (100ft) long stage would be among the biggest space debris to fall to Earth.

The non-profit, federally funded Aerospace Corp has said it expects the debris to hit the Pacific near the Equator after passing over eastern US cities. The orbit covers a swath of the planet from New Zealand to Newfoundland.

The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki stated that, ‘The United States is committed to addressing the risks of growing congestion due to space debris and growing activity in space and we want to work with the international community to promote leadership and responsible space behaviours.’

Jonathan McDowell, astrophysicist at Harvard University has predicted some pieces of rocket will survive re entry and that it would be the equivalent of a small plane crash scattered over 100 miles.

Last time they launched a Long March 5B rocket they ended up with big long rods of metal flying through the sky and damaging several buildings in the Ivory Coast, later he added.