China’s Long March-5 booster departs Wenchang launch site.
Credit: CASC

Debris from a Chinese carrier rocket in the coming days is very unlikely to cause damage, said Wang Wenbin, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, according to a China Daily report.

Regarding the atmospheric reentry of the core stage of the country’s Long March5B heavy-lift booster, Wang said it is highly unlikely that the debris will cause any harm to aircraft activity or ground-based assets and personnel. “As far as I know, this type of rocket has unique designs (to make sure) that most of its parts will be burnt up during the reentry process,” he said.

Credit: Bob Christy/used with permission

Estimated window

Bob Christy at Zarya.info reports that the potential impact of China’s 18-ton CZ-5B rocket stage is causing concern.

The two recent CZ 5B stages are the most massive objects to re-enter uncontrollably since the 40 ton Salyut 7/Cosmos 1668 combination came in over South America 1991, Christy adds.

A new map is based on the most recent Trajectory Impact Prediction (TIP) message and shows the ground track during the estimated window for re-entry.

The yellow dot does not represent the impact zone, Christy told Inside Outer Space. Both Space-Track and Aerospace Corporation estimates over the past day have the rocket body most likely falling in the southern hemisphere.

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