Chinese rocket debris. The news here in Italy is full of stories about it. We got to yesterday and they announced that Umbria was one of ten regions in Italy where the debris could potentially fall. Eeek!
Chinese Rocket Debris
What is this all about?
Cutting a long story short, the Chinese put a rocket into space and now bits of that rocket were falling to earth. The Chinese Long March B5 to be precise. And no-one knew where they would land.
It is a sobering thought that as well as polluting the planet we are doing a good job of leaving rubbish in space as well! But this time it was coming down and brought with it the unknown. Apparently the way the piece of rocket was rotating made estimating where it would fall very difficult.
And we are not talking small. It was a stage of the rocket weighting 20 tons, 30 metres long and 5 metres in diameter.
Where would it fall?
The key issue over the last few days has been where would the rocket actually land? The uncertainty meant a huge part of the world was on standby for potential problems when it happened. The headlines in the news ranged from interesting to downright scaremongering. It seemed incredible that with all our technology, no-one could actually predict where it would land. And that is where we come in.
Alert in Italy
Yesterday morning (Saturday 8 May 2021) we were made aware that Umbria was one of ten Italian regions on alert. It had been identified that the rocket trajectory made it possible pieces may land in those regions.
Civil Protection kicked into action. We were told to stay indoors between 8.35pm and 8.35am on Sunday 9 May. A whole load of instructions were issued including to stay on lower floors and keep away from glass doors and windows. There is something slightly disconcerting about being given those instructions. Even though you knew, as my step-sister said, there was more chance of a football from the Brighton and Hove Albion match in Brighton, England landing on our roof!
By our bedtime
By the time we went to bed Umbria had been put in the clear. But there were still nine Italian regions on alert.
And what actually happened?
This morning, 9 May 2021, the debris fell to earth over the ocean near the Maldives. A mere 7,500 kilometres from Umbria.
Well, it made a change from worrying about Covid!
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!