KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Chinese rocket is set to crash on Saturday, July 30, but is there a chance that it could land in Kansas or Missouri?
Scientist and host of Netflix show “Emily’s Wonder Lab,” Emily Calandrelli, has been posting updates on her social media accounts since July 23, the day before the rocket was first launched. Her updates are based on predictions by The Aerospace Corporation.
According to Aerospace, the rocket body was first launched from the Wenchange Space Launch Site in China at 6:22 Coordinated Universal Time (11:22 a.m. Central Time) on July 24.
As the estimated crash time gets closer, scientists have been able to narrow down where the rocket debris might land. As of Friday at noon, they had it narrowed down to a crash time window of 12 hours and eight possible routes across the world.
Three of those routes passed over the United States. Although none of the routes pass over the Kansas City area, one does pass over southern Missouri, southern Kansas and central/northwestern Kansas.
Calandrelli states the rocket could currently crash down along any of these paths shown on the map.
Most of the rocket will burn up in Earth’s atmosphere, but a significant portion of it — about five to nine metric tons (5.5 to 9.9 tons), according to The Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Orbital Reentry and Debris Studies, will make it all the way down.
USA Today reports experts emphasize the risk to people generally, and to the United States, is extremely low.
As of Friday 2 p.m. CT, the estimated crash time is now 1:05 p.m. CT (+/-5 hours). That window will continue to narrow down over the next 24 hours, according to Calandrelli.
A similar incident occurred in May 2021 with a Chinese rocket of the same class. People in Jordan, Oman and Saudi Arabia reported sightings of the Chinese rocket debris on social media, with scores of users posting footage of the debris over the Middle East.
In March 2021, debris from a Falcon 9 rocket launched by U.S. aeronautics company SpaceX fell to Earth in Washington and on the Oregon coast.
For the latest updates on the rocket’s reentry and landing, check The Aerospace Corporation website, which is being updated regularly.
China was heavily criticized after sending a missile to destroy a defunct weather satellite in January 2007, creating a large field of hazardous debris imperiling satellites and other spacecraft.
FOX4 affiliate WBOY contributed to this report.
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