China says the falling rocket should burn up upon re-entry and that it's unlikely to cause any harm.
A 98-foot-long, 20-ton section of the Long March 5B rocket, which was launched by China in late April, is expected to crash back to Earth this weekend. Oh, and get this—nobody is exactly sure of when or where it will re-enter the atmosphere. That's ... comforting.
"It will be one of the largest instances of uncontrolled reentry of a spacecraft and could potentially land on an inhabited area," said SpaceNews.com.
According to experts and officials, it's estimated to be late Saturday or early Sunday.
Now, you're probably wondering, what's the chance it could hit someone? China says the core module of its space station will mostly burn up on re-entry and will pose "little threat to people and property on the ground."
"We're hopeful that it will land in a place where it won't harm anyone," said US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. "Hopefully in the ocean, or someplace like that."
There's also a small chance the debris could hit New York, Los Angeles, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, the Nigerian capital of Abuja, or Beijing. However, it will more likely land in an ocean or the wilderness.
UPDATE: Chinese Long March 5B (NORAD-ID 48275) is expected to re-enter this week - NORSS' Monte Carlo results provide a probabilistic re-entry time of approximately 0248UTC on 09/05/2021. The 2 sigma uncertainty window currently spans 595 minutes. pic.twitter.com/I5jsRWsW6F— NORSS Orbital Analyst Hive (@HiveNorss) May 7, 2021
The main segment of the rocket was used to launch the first module of China's new space station last month. The section falling toward Earth is unmanned.
*This will be updated as more information is known. Refresh for updates!