Will Rocket Debris Hit the Hudson Valley this Weekend?
Usually, when we're telling you to look up at the Hudson Valley sky it's so you can enjoy a beautiful view, like a meteor shower or super moon. This time around, it's a little different.
According to CBS News, there is currently debris from a rocket, the Long March 5B which China launched on April 29th, in space "hurtling back to earth." Fantastic. CBS News reported the following earlier this week:
A huge piece of space junk is about to make an uncontrolled re-entry back into Earth's atmosphere, threatening to drop debris on a number of cities around the world in the coming days. It's leftover from China's first module for its— and no one knows where it will land.
CBS News added that the debris could "potentially" land in the U.S., Mexico, Central America, South America, Africa, India, China or Australia. So, basically anywhere.
Our friends at Lite 98.7 in Utica reached out to scientists to get a ballpark answer as to where this piece of space junk will be landing. More importantly, will it land in New York State?
Alex Kieckhafer studied Rocket Science at Michigan Technological University, so he knows a thing or two. Kieckhafer shared that the chance of the rocked debris hitting the State of New York is about 0.042% or 1 in 2,389. He also adds that the rocket is about 700 times more likely to hit NYC, and 125,600 times as likely to hit the State of New York.
While it sounds like the space junk won't land in New York, Kieckhafer believes that the size of the rocket debris will change drastically in travel. Kieckhafer tells Lite 98.7:
"It's also worth noting that the vast majority of the rocket won't reach the ground. All you'll get is small, dense, temperature-tolerant items like engine parts and some of the smaller fuel/oxidizer/gas tanks."
Be on the lookout for falling engine parts. Lt. Col. Angela Webb of U.S. Space Command Public Affairs told CBS News to expect the debris to make landfall by May 8th, 2021.