Expert reveals how dangerous the out-of-control rocket really is

Expert reveals how dangerous the out-of-control rocket really is
An out-of-control rocket has gripped the world – as it falls towards it.

An out-of-control rocket has gripped the world – as it falls towards it.

But how dangerous really is the rocket? And how likely is it that it will just fall down to Earth without any event?

We put all those questions – and more – to astronomer Jonathan McDowell. As well as being an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, he is also perhaps the pre-eminent cataloguer of what is happening in space.

Out-of-control Chinese rocket: Question and Answer with Jonathan McDowell

That includes tracking the Long March 5B rocket over recent days as it orbit has brought it closer to Earth, ahead of its potentially perilous re-entry.

He explained where this rocket came from, how it differs from other spacecraft, how we know when and where it might land as well as how worried people should be.

He also discussed the wider context of the launch – whether the danger is increased by the actions of the Chinese space agency, if such dangerous re-entries are likely to become more common, and what humanity might need to do to ensure it stays safe in the future.

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