Italian astronomer Gianluca Masi has managed to view the out-of-control Chinese Long March 5B rocket for the first time.
The first image of China’s orbiting Long March 5B rocket, which alarmed the Earth, has been released by astronomers. Italian astronomer Gianluca Masi, who managed to view the image of the rocket 700 km from Earth with the robotic telescope ‘Elena’, said: “The sky was incredibly bright. These conditions made viewing quite difficult. But thanks to our robotic telescope, it was successful to view the rocket. This is an event that demonstrates our robotics facility’s incredible ability to track objects in the sky.”
The Long March 5B rocket carrying the main module of China’s space station successfully took off from Hainan island on April 29, leaving the rocket module in space and spiraling out of control. The rocket, which orbits the Earth at 17,600 miles per hour, is forecast to pass through the atmosphere and land on Earth over the weekend. The rocket is expected to land May 8-10. Mike Howard, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Defense (Pentagon), said the rocket’s impact could only be predicted just hours before impact.