Falling Chinese rocket likely to hit Abuja this weekend

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A rocket was launched on April 29 at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in China is expected to crash back to Earth this late Saturday, May 8, or early Sunday, May 9, experts say.

NBC News reported that the 98-foot-long 5B rocket is tumbling through space in an uncontrolled orbit at 18,000 miles per hour after blasting off last month carrying part of China’s new space station.

And while it’s common for pieces of rockets to fall back to Earth, this particular section has drawn concern because its lack of control means experts aren’t sure where it will come down.

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Scientists say the risk of it killing anyone after it re-enters the planet’s atmosphere is small but not impossible. However, there is a tiny chance the debris could hit New York, Los Angeles, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Beijing, or Abuja.

Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry, on Friday said: “China is following closely the upper stage’s re-entry into the atmosphere. To my knowledge, the upper stage of this rocket has been deactivated, which means that most of its parts will burn up upon reentry, making the likelihood of damage to aviation or ground facilities and activities extremely low.”

Similar occurrence happened in 2020, when a debris from a Chinese rocket crashed into Ivory Coast and damaged several buildings.

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