5 things to know this weekend


Portion of Chinese rocket expected to reenter Earth’s atmosphere

Heads up! No, literally: a piece of a large Chinese rocket is expected to hit Earth sometime Saturday. But we don’t know where the piece is going to land or how big it will be. Where it will hit “cannot be pinpointed until within hours of its reentry,” the Pentagon said in a statement this week. It’s roughly 100 feet long and and would be among the biggest pieces of space debris to fall to Earth. Usually, discarded core rockets plunge to the sea soon after liftoff and don’t go into orbit like this one did. The U.S. has no plans to shoot down the rocket. It should be noted the Chinese government told the world Friday that the rocket will mostly burn up on reentry, posing little threat to people and property on the ground. “The probability of this process causing harm on the ground is extremely low,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said. 

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