‘Long March 5’: China denies threat posed by its out-of-control rocket

Beijing: Ahead of the Chinese Long March rocket’s re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere, Beijing on Friday dismissed threats posed by the out-of-control rocket, despite concerns raised by experts.

Speaking at a press briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the debris of the Chinese carrier vehicle Chang Zheng 5 (Long March 5) will mostly burn upon entry into the atmosphere, adding that there is very little risk for objects on the ground.

“Carrier vehicle Chang Zheng 5 successfully got the basic module of the orbital station into the orbit. China is carefully monitoring the rocket stage re-entry into the Earth atmosphere. As far as I know, the carrier vehicle is made from a special material, most debris will burn upon entry into atmosphere. The risk for the planes and objects on the ground is very low,” the spokesperson told a briefing, as quoted by Sputnik.

Earlier this week, the US Department of Defence had said that it is tracking the Chinese Long March 5B-rocket that is out of control and set to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere this weekend.

The Chinese rocket is expected to enter Earth’s atmosphere around May 8 and US Space Command is tracking the rocket’s trajectory amid concerns about where its debris may make an impact, CNN reported.

“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 re-entry, which is expected around May 8,” Pentagon’s US Space Command said in a statement.

The roughly 100-foot object is orbiting the Earth every 90 minutes and zips past north of New York, Beijing and as far south as New Zealand, Fox News reported citing a space monitoring website.