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Near Miss, Miss By Charles Taylor
China keeps giving us so much. Why, it almost dumped a pile of space junk on New York City. Well, that would have gone down well. Anyway, better luck next time!
“Chunks of the massive Chinese rocket that recently took an uncontrolled plunge back into the Earth’s atmosphere narrowly missed hitting New York City, according to a report. Had the Long March 5B rocket re-entered the atmosphere about 15 to 20 minutes earlier on Monday, it would have rained debris on the nation’s largest metro area, according to Ars Technica, a technology-focused publication. The about 100-foot-long rocket was launched on May 5, carrying an unnamed prototype of a newly designed Chinese crew capsule. After about a week in orbit, the 20-ton core stage of the rocket fell back into the atmosphere around 11 a.m., moving at thousands of miles per hour and largely burning up on its way down. A bit of the spacecraft about the size of a small bus splashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of West Africa, according to the US Space Command, which was tracking the re-entry. Some of the space junk also appeared to have landed in a town in Cote d’Ivoire, according to Quartz. No injuries were reported. Typically, a two-stage launch will drop its first rocket into the ocean before reaching orbit — instead of allowing the large object to come back down uncontrolled, according to NASA. It’s not the first time China has seemingly shown a disregard for debris from its rocket launches. In November 2019, one of its rocket boosters dropped on a Chinese village, spewing toxic fuel and smashing at least one building, Ars Technica reported at the time.”
If China can ignore the harm caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, space junk crashing into populated areas is no big sweat. What are you going to do, fire a nuke at us? Dare you!