SALT LAKE CITY — A large part of a Chinese rocket launched last month is now tumbling uncontrollably back to Earth, and no one knows where it will land.
That in itself is kind of frightening.
Oh, and Utah is in the reentry path for the falling rocket debris.
The core stage of China's Long March 5B rocket is expected to reenter the Earth's atmosphere sometime on May 8 or later. The problem is that an exact time won't be known until hours before reentry, according to TIME.
Along with the uncertainty of when it will come crashing down is the uncertainty over where it will come crashing down.
Utah is in the path of the rocket's orbital stage, which could carry it as far north as places like Salt Lake City; but it can also travel way south to New Zealand.
The core's path is unknown because China allowed it to enter orbit, instead of jettisoning it beforehand where it would have fallen into the ocean.
Due to the heat that comes with reentering the Earth's atmosphere, most objects burn up during the process. However, because the Long March 5B core is so large, pieces of debris could survive and fall in the ocean or a big city. The problem is, that as of Thursday, no one seems to know.