Items from space fall back to Earth all the time. Most of them burn up after entering the atmosphere. But once in a while some of those items are so big that officials must concede that some parts will make contact with the ground below. This weekend a rocket 10 stories high and weighing 20 tons will fall to Earth, and the experts have no idea where it will land.

The rocket is called the Long March 5B and was launched by the Chinese back on Sunday, July 24th. SiouxlandNews reports that the rocket carried a new segment of the Chinese Space Station into orbit. Now, the huge rocket is on an uncontrolled fall into our atmosphere. The latest projection of when the rocket will hit centers of the date of July 31st. But the path and timing are still, shall we say, up in the air.

So who is at risk of getting hit by a piece of Chinese rocket? SiouxlandNews explains that areas at risk extend from 41.5 North and South latitudes. Areas along that latitude are at what is called an elevated risk due to the higher number of passes the rocket makes. Iowa fits into this category.

Based on the size of the falling rocket there is an estimated 1 in 230 to 1 in 1,000 chance that someone could be injured by falling debris as it falls back to Earth. As SiouxlandNews points out, this is a much higher than acceptable chance in the United States. Before you start to panic and start building your underground bunker, a similar rocket fell to the Earth back in May of 2021. It passed over Iowa several times before landing harmlessly in the ocean. That is the most likely scenario to happen, as 75% of space re-entries happen where there are no people.

But I'd still keep an eye on the sky Saturday night.

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