Sunday, 9 May 2021

As Plunging Chinese Rocket Approaches Earth, Sec Def Lloyd Austin Says No Plans To Shoot It Down

Reported that a large out-of-control Chinese rocket is likely going to smash into Earth this coming weekend.

“The large Chinese rocket that is out of control and set to reenter Earth’s atmosphere this weekend has brought about an alarming but not unprecedented situation,” said CNN.

The Chinese “Long March 5B” rocket is being tracked by the Pentagon. According to a statement from Defense Department spokesperson Mike Howard, the U.S. Space Command is tracking the rocket’s trajectory, expected to enter our planet’s atmosphere this weekend.

United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said during a press conference with reporters that there was no plan to shoot down the rocket.

“We have the capability to do a lot of things, but we don’t have a plan to shoot it down as we speak,” Austin said, according to The Guardian. “We’re hopeful that it will land in a place where it won’t harm anyone. Hopefully in the ocean, or someplace like that.”

“For those of us who operate in the space domain, there’s a requirement, or should be a requirement to operate in a safe and thoughtful mode,” Austin added. There is a need to “make sure that we take those kinds of things into consideration as we plan and conduct operations” in space, he said.

According to the Aerospace Corp, debris is expected to pass over eastern U.S. cities before hitting the Pacific Ocean.

On Friday, it was reported that, according to a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, “the upper stage of the rocket will mostly burn up on re-entry, posing little threat to people and property on the ground,” and that Chinese authorities would release information regarding the rocket and its re-entry in a “timely manner.”

The Guardian also noted that “The Global Times, a Chinese tabloid published by the official People’s Daily, characterized reports that the rocket is ‘out of control’ and could cause damage as ‘western hype,’” and that the “situation is ‘not worth panicking about.’”

Reacting to the plunging rocket, the White House has called for “responsible space behaviors.”

“The United States is committed to addressing the risks of growing congestion due to space debris and growing activity in space and we want to work with the international community to promote leadership and responsible space behaviors,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

As The Daily Wire previously noted, “The debris … does not appear to pose a significant threat, with CNN reporting that Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Astrophysics Center at Harvard University, saying, ‘This is not the end of days.’”

“I don’t think people should take precautions. The risk that there will be some damage or that it would hit someone is pretty small — not negligible, it could happen — but the risk that it will hit you is incredibly tiny. And so I would not lose one second of sleep over this on a personal threat basis,” he said. “There are much bigger things to worry about.”

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