Debris from a Chinese rocket is expected to fall back to Earth in an uncontrolled re-entry this weekend.
The main segment from the Long March-5b vehicle, weighing 18 tonnes, was used to launch the first module of China’s new space station last month.
Various space debris modelling experts are pointing to late Saturday or early Sunday (GMT) as the likely moment of re-entry. However, such projections are always highly uncertain.
The US on Thursday said it was watching the path of the object but currently had no plans to shoot it down.
Most of the vehicle should burn up when it makes its final plunge through the atmosphere, although there is always the possibility that metals with high melting points, and other resistant materials, could survive to the surface.
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