Second stage of China’s long March 5B rocket expected to fall into Pacific Ocean on Sunday

Washington : The second stage of China’s Long March 5B heavy-lift carrier rocket launched with the main module for the country’s orbital station last month is expected to fall in the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, according to the latest predictions from the US Air Force.

The spacecraft’s stage is projected to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere at about 02:52 GMT on May 9, over the southern part of the Pacific Ocean not far from New Zealand, the estimates published by Space-Track.org show.

Earlier estimates indicated that the stage would re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere between 0111 GMT on May 8 and 1911 GMT on May 9 over the same area.

Russia’s Roscosmos state space agency, in turn, said on Friday that the second stage of the Long March 5B heavy-lift launch vehicle was likely to enter the Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean on May 9.

The vehicle was launched on April 29 from the Wenchang rocket launch site in China, carrying on board the Tianhe base module of Tiangong, the Asian country’s future orbital station.