Nigeria has been identified among the countries at risk of being hit by wasteful parts of a rocket launched by China.
The debris of the rocket is being expected to fall on planet Earth from space soon.
Scientists have so far narrowed down to West Africa where Nigeria remains a likely destination; the United States and other parts of China as the possible areas that the rocket debris could land when it enters Earth. The wasteful parts from the Long March-5b space rocket detached from the machine as it launched in outer space; with the BBC reporting that the 18-tonnes debris is the largest space material to fall into the Earth.
Meanwhile, a number of space debris modelling experts had projected late Saturday or early Sunday (GMT) as the likely moment of re-entry into Earth. However, such projections are always highly uncertain.
The rocket was launched to carry a Chinese space station section into orbit.
Equally important, experts are optimistic that the descent of the debris into Earth won’t cause serious danger.
The United States has revealed it was watching the path of the object. But it stated that it currently had no plans to shoot it down.US Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin is one of those who hopes that the debris of the rocket may land somewhere innocuous; where it won’t cause much damage.
“We’re hopeful that it will land in a place where it won’t harm anyone. Hopefully in the ocean, or someplace like that,” he was quoted as saying
Even it falls in Nigeria, as is possible, the chances of the rocket debris causing much damage is limited. The foregoing is backed up by the views of scientists. Also, the BBC reports that the chances of anyone actually being hit by a piece of space junk are very small. This is attributed to the fact that the Earth’s surface is covered by ocean; as well as the fact that a significant chunk of the Earth’s land mass includes huge areas that are uninhabited.
Nearly a year ago, a similar re-entry of the debris from a rocket launched into space was identified in Africa. It was spotted on the ground in another West African country, Ivory Coast.