There is reported fear among the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, over the slim possibility that the debris from a Chinese rocket could hit the capital city, between late Saturday and Sunday,
According to an American news platform, NBC, a piece of a rocket launched by China, in late April, is expected to re-enter the earth in the coming hours.
NBC reported: “It is 10-stories tall, and twice as heavy as a School bus, and it is set to crash back to Earth this weekend, but no one is quite sure where or when.
“The 98-foot-long, 20-ton section of China’s Long March 5B rocket, is tumbling through space in an uncontrolled orbit at 18,000 miles per hour, after blasting off last month, carrying part of the country’s new space station, according to Experts and Officials.”
Also, the Chinese capital, Beijing, New York and Los Angeles, both in the United States of America, USA, Madrid in Spain, and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, were listed as other places where the rocket could hit.
Scientists said that the risk of it killing anyone after it re-enters the planet is small, but not impossible
In a tweet on Friday, the Aerospace Corporation, a US nonprofit research firm, said that its prediction for landing is 8-hours on either side of 4:19 GMT time, on Sunday.
It pinpointed an area near the North Island of New Zealand as a possible re-entry point, but stated that it could happen anywhere across large parts of the planet.
Don Pollacco, a Physics Professor at England’s University of Warwick, who tracks space debris, was quoted to have said:
“You have got a big lump of metal in space, that is in a declining orbit, because it is rubbing up against the atmosphere. It will hit the atmosphere, bounce around a bit, and it is correct to say most of the planet is covered by water, so that is where it will likely land.
“But there is a chance it will not.”
Asked about the rocket on Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Wang Wenbin, said that it would burn up on re-entry, calling its descent “common international practice.
“The probability of causing harm to aviation activities or activities on the ground are extremely low.”