Estimates from US Space Force data suggest that re-entry is likely to occur any time between 2am and 4am UK time. The remnants of the giant rocket are hurtling towards Earth at speeds of 18,000mph, making predictions about where it will land extremely difficult. So far, four possible orbits for re-entry have been calculated by US Space Force – three over water and one over the land.
Potential land sites include the Southeastern US, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Peru, Ecuador Colombia, Venezuela, parts of Southern Europe, much of Northern and Central Africa, the Middle East, Southern India and Australia.
Mike Howard, a spokesman for the US Defense Department, said: “US Space Command is aware of and tracking the location of the Chinese Long March 5B in space, but its exact entry point into the Earth’s atmosphere cannot be pinpointed until within hours of its reentry, which is expected around May 8.”
While some are worried that the rocket could make landfall, this scenario is made more unlikely by the vast covering of water on our planet.
Earth’s surface is covered by 71 percent ocean, so theoretically there is a seven in 10 chance that whatever pieces of debris do make it through the atmosphere, then they will land in an area where humans will not be in danger.
Harvard astronomer Jonathan McDowell said the rocket was an accident waiting to happen, due to poor design on China’s part.
He said on Twitter: “This was not an accident, it was poor design of the rocket.
READ MORE: China rocket hurtling to earth ‘real problem’ – parts survive re-entry
Long March 5B has been given the designation CZ-5B R/B by US officials monitoring the device.
Thanks to websites such as N2YO.com, one can track where CZ-5B R/B is.
To do so, simply go to the website and type the designated name into the search bar in the top right of the website.