Beware India! There is a 10 percent chance a falling rocket could hit you

Yes, based on maths, there is a little chance that a falling rocket from the space could hit you. Check out this report.

| Updated on: Jul 13 2022, 09:26 IST
Astra rocket
Discarded rocket stages could fall back to Earth and may have a little chance of hitting you. (Representative Image) (Astra)
Astra rocket
Discarded rocket stages could fall back to Earth and may have a little chance of hitting you. (Representative Image) (Astra)

A rocket launch is always exciting for fans of everything space and related technologies. However, what if we say that there is a little chance that one of those could hit you and cause casualties? Yes, based on maths, the rate at which humans are launching rockets into space could eventually prove risky for the rest of us on the ground, considering that those discarded rocket bits could eventually fall back to Earth and have a little chance of hitting you. This is more so for two regions on the Equator – Ivory Coast and India.

A new report from talks about the recent calculations posted Michael Byers at the University of British Columbia in Canada and his colleagues. Byers says that there is a 10 percent chance of one or more casualties from a falling debris over the next 10 years. Moreover, this risk is disproportionately higher in the low-income nations situated on the equator, since more rockets travel over the equator.

Falling rocket from space could hit you

“We think this has to stop. We have modern rockets that can avoid uncontrolled re-entries, rather than playing Russian roulette with the Ivory Coast and India. Who's to say the next piece won't come down in central Mumbai?,” says Byers.

He also says the rocket companies should have some leftover fuel to go for re-entries over the uninhabited regions of the Earth, which are mostly oceans. Another scientist says that discarded stages of rockets in orbits are also at a risk of collision, adding to space debris in the Earth's orbit. And if they have little fuel left onboard, the chances of them blowing up are higher.

Some rocket companies are already taking a step or two in this direction. SpaceX, for example, has long been attempting to land the first stage of the rocket boosters back to Earth and reuse them for their next flight. However, even SpaceX tends to leave its second stages in the orbits, drifting in space since they don't have enough fuel to be adjusted for re-entry into Earth.

Recently, there were reports of an old discarded rocket going in orbit around the Earth and Moon system, and it eventually crash landed on the far side of the Moon.

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First Published Date: 13 Jul, 09:25 IST