How to Track Online A Huge Chinese Rocket that Fall to Earth
How to Track Online A Huge Chinese Rocket that Fall to Earth

Update - Chinese rocket debris not hit the United States

The remains of a Chinese rocket that was hurtling back towards Earth have crashed into the Indian Ocean. The bulk of the rocket was destroyed as it re-entered the atmosphere, but state media reported that debris landed just west of the Maldives on Sunday.

The Long March-5b vehicle re-entered the atmosphere at 10:24 Beijing time (02:24 GMT) on Sunday, state media reported, citing the Chinese Manned Space Engineering office. There were no reports of injuries or damage.

It said debris from the 18-tonne rocket, one of the largest items in decades to have an undirected dive into the atmosphere, landed in the Indian Ocean at a point 72.47° East and 2.65° North.

China's largest rocket launched last week are expected to plunge back through the atmosphere in the coming hours, European and U.S. tracking centres said.

While there were still varying estimates of where the rocket would land, it appeared increasingly likely it would not hit the United States.

When Chinese rocket will fall to earth?

China’s Long March 5b rocket that launched Thursday is predicted to crash back to Earth within hours Sunday (March 9). The huge Chine rocket is expected to break apart and much of it will burn up in the upper atmosphere.

However, its size is big enough for parts of it to crash to the oceans -- which cover 70% of the planet's surface -- or ground, something that already happened with another Long March 5B rocket last year.

U.S. Space Command estimated re-entry would occur at 0211 GMT on Sunday, plus or minus one hour, while the Center for Orbital Reentry and Debris Studies (CORDS) at Aerospace Corporation, a U.S. federally funded space-focused research and development centre, updated its prediction to two hours either side of 0302 GMT with the rocket re-entering over the Pacific.

EU Space Surveillance and Tracking (EU SST) said its latest prediction for the timing of the re-entry of the Long March 5B rocket body was 139 minutes either side of 0232 GMT on Sunday.

How to Track Online A Huge Chinese Rocket that Fall to Earth
This reentry prediction plot by the Aerospace Corporation shows the estimated splashdown point of China's 21 metric ton Long March 5B rocket booster on Saturday, May 8, 2021. As of Saturday afternoon, it was estimated to fall in the northern Atlantic Ocean west of Europe give or take 4 hours. (Image credit: Aerospace Corporation)

How to track Chinese rocket's fall on one of several websites

Astronomer Dr. Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, has been working tirelessly to make his own predictions over the past few days.

He recently noted that the, Aerospace, EU and U.S. Space Force "are now in very good agreement.", Foxnews reports.

1.U.S. Space Command is updating at least once a day with the latest information about where the rocket is likely to fall, based on parameters such as how high Earth's atmosphere is billowing and how drag is expected to affect the massive Chinese vehicle.

Although the website is behind a login portal, is also posting updates to Twitter.

Their latest "TIP" shows projected re-entry at " 2021-05-09 0227(UTC) +/- 180 minutes at latitude -3.9 longitude 79.4."

2.The Aerospace Corporation, a nonprofit which The New York Times says is largely financed by the federal government, posts regularly on its Twitter feed and occasionally on Medium about the core stage status. More details about re-entry predictions are also available on its website. The Aerospace Corporation has a "Reentry Prediction" page, with graphics in addition to coordinates.

The corporation's latest re-entry prediction posted to Twitter is "09 May 2021 03:30 UTC ± 4 hours."

3.The EU Space Surveillance and Tracking service is also sharing predictions on Twitter, writing earlier Saturday morning that "the re-entry window of object CZ-5B R/B [had] narrowed down to 2021-05-09 02:11 UTC ±190 min."

How to Track Online A Huge Chinese Rocket that Fall to Earth
A huge Chinese rocket will fall to Earth this weekend. How to track it online.

4.Another Twitter feed to keep an eye on is that of Jonathan McDowell, a well-known tracker of uncontrolled falls in the U.S. space community. He's been posting several times a day about the progress of the Long March 5B.

5.Amateur skywatchers are also keeping an eye out for the rocket, with the Virtual Telescope's Gianluca Masi planning to broadcast live footage from Rome if the core stage is visible from there. You can watch it directly from the Virtual Telescope here and on YouTube.

For those who want to watch the core's path, there are several YouTube livestreams tracking the core as well.

6.More technical information on the space station's orbit is available at, including its perigee, apogee, inclination and period.

Little threat to personal safety

The rocket's "exact entry point into the Earth's atmosphere" can't be pinpointed until within hours of reentry, Howard said, but the 18th Space Control Squadron is providing daily updates on the rocket's location through the Space Track website.

The good news is that debris plunging toward Earth -- while unnerving -- generally poses very little threat to personal safety.

"The risk that there will be some damage or that it would hit someone is pretty small -- not negligible, it could happen -- but the risk that it will hit you is incredibly tiny. And so I would not lose one second of sleep over this on a personal threat basis," Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Astrophysics Center at Harvard University, CNN reports.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Friday that the rocket was unlikely to cause damage.

Wang told reporters in Beijing that the rocket would mostly burn up on reentry and “the probability of this process causing harm on the ground is extremely low.”

The launch of the Tianhe module was the first of 11 planned missions to build a Chinese space station.

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