Out-Of-Control Rocket Hurdles Towards Earth, Lands In Pacific Ocean

Not the rocket from the story. Photo by JODY AMIET/AFP via Getty Images

Taylor Giles Contributor
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An out-of-control piece of a Russian rocket crashed back to Earth on Wednesday.

Scientists were unsure specifically when or where the rocket will re-enter the atmosphere, or if any part would hit land according to NBC News.

However, officials confirmed Wednesday evening that the rocket landed in the Pacific Ocean, according to CBS News.

The piece that re-entered the Earth is the upper stage of a Russian Angara A5 rocket, NBC News reported. This is one of Russia’s newest rockets. (RELATED: 22-Ton Chinese Rocket Falling Back To Earth At About 17,401 MPH Could Crash In US)

“You might get a few hundred kilograms surviving to the surface,” said Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer for the Harvard and Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, NBC News reported. “Most of it will melt, but some of the denser engine parts will probably survive.”

Just after it was launched Dec. 27, an engine within the rocket malfunctioned, which left the booster in a low-Earth orbit, reported NBC News. The piece is roughly 23 feet long and weighs about four tons.

The booster was meant to stay in orbit for thousands of years, but the booster did not make it far enough to stay in orbit, CNN reported.