Why It’s So Hard To Predict Where China’s Latest Piece Of Space Junk Will Land

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According to the simulations the 23 ton core booster for the Long March 5B will likely enter earth’s atmosphere and mostly burn up in the next 24 hours, but knowing where and when is still impossible. The prediction window is still 12 hours long leaving a lot of uncertainty as to where it might end up. Most likely it’ll end up in the ocean, but there’s a 30% chance of it dropping debris on land.

  1. CertainDeath777

    Kong Fuzi says:”If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake.”
    Another Wise Man said:
    “Shit Happens”
    I say:
    “Shit happens, shit can happen twice, but then you really need to get ur shit together.”

  2. Mark Morales

    3:33 that was the funniest thing i heard all day. I know you were not joking but that was hilarious

  3. Gordon

    You should do a video on the M-1 cryogenic engine. That thing would have been absolutely insane.

  4. Destructor1701

    Best “Fly Safe” end tag in a long time.

  5. Pandu POLUAN

    “… the local [Australian] wildlife is more dangerous than [the falling] Skylab …” I just 🤣🤣🤣

  6. frankyjayhay

    I’m using complicate maths to predict it’ll land near the Maldives, I wonder if I’ll be right.

  7. Salvatore Shiggerino

    Zhou Enlai Lunar Mining Complex when?

  8. Katana Steel

    There was a blast from my past. I remember playing around with STK in the early 2000’s

  9. tez613

    Im suprised you didn’t talk about the other time a Chinese booster reentered over the western u.s. back in 2016. though I don’t remember if that one was uncontrolled.

  10. Justin 3

    What do you think will happen if one of these ever causes major damage, say it lands on New York or Tokyo or Beijing or something?

  11. Hartley Saunders II

    Well I hope Scott’s not planning any trips to the Far East for a few years.😁

  12. TheThirdMan

    Reports it came down near the Maldives about an hour ago. It was expected to land north of New Zealand – only half a world away!

  13. C brtdgh

    As the booster makes its re-entry:
    Australian wildlife – “why do I hear boss music?”

  14. jell0pudding

    You put It best when you said that it’s just embarrassing that they lack the will to do it properly.

  15. Mr 3raqi

    Finally, was waiting for your video on this.

  16. FullSizedGaming

    Kind of day I’ve had it will probably land on my head.

  17. Elite Club

    >by luck it deorbited over the ocean
    >ocean covers 70% of earth’s surface

    It was pure luck that I didn’t win the lottery

  18. foley15136

    Never has Scott’s advice/wishes to “Fly Safe” been more important and applicable.

  19. Scott Manley

    The last sightings of the booster were over Oman, possibly showing effects of atmospheric entry, it’s believed to have deorbited over the Indian Ocean near the Maldives.

  20. McPebbster Pancakes

    Scott, are you up? Its coming down tonight! Between 2:30 and 4:30 UTC

  21. AnonyGuy

    We have skylabs here in Philippines, it can fit upto 6 people including the driver, they’re pretty risky to ride.

  22. Logan M P E

    _Geez It’s good to be back!_ I had a slight (sarcasm) issue with BoobTube about an overabundance of opinion and had to start again! They hate your opinions people, watch out!

  23. Pablo Abadie

    Hello Scott, regarding to Salyut 7 there are many debries that have fallen over between SAnta Fe and Entre Ríos, here in Argentina. Some parts , among hatchs and external shields that are in some astronomic museums here. Regards!


    If you woke up today with a missile in your yard and a giant silver guy.. say these words quickly.. “Klaatu.. Barada.. Nikto”

  25. Jay Bruce

    AN EXCELLENT VIDEO! – Honestly Scott, I’ve been watching your videos for ~5 years now, and this is one of the best.

  26. SpiritsBB

    Scott: “You know if the orbit is elliptical with a significant difference between the perigee and the apogee, then the apogee will descend faster than the low point right?”

    Me: “Right.”

  27. Felipe Fontana

    There were pretty large pieces of Salyut-7 that actually fell to Argentinian territory, they ended up at Capitán Bermudez.

  28. Albert Batfinder

    A selfless Scott Manley would offer to ride the Long March rocket safely down, like Slim Pickens in Dr Strangelove.

  29. Zaphods BlueCar

    I see Discovery and Hubble found a spot..! :-)

  30. Robert Klauco

    That Australia comment made me laugh out loud, despite my 3 kids sleeping already :)

  31. Volodymyr

    I like the new lighting.
    For the first few minutes I thought it was morning :)

  32. paulgilpin

    we in “flyover country” have no worries. you guys on the coast are on your own.

  33. Roberta Williamson

    I love the rainbow rocket at the beginning. And your videos of course.

  34. Gregorius

    “the odds of it ending up near you are staggeringly small”
    Imagine the chances of an engine falling on your head… — Donnie Darko

  35. Matthew Sainsbury

    Missed opportunity for “I’m Scott Manley, please fly safer”

  36. WeBeGood

    Crossing Finger, hoping it’ll re-enter over me. Should be a great light show.

  37. Marked Ashamed

    Seattle has been experiencing a number of bright constellations as of recently.

  38. archie4oz

    I wonder if any of the JAXA folks on Tsubame (SLATS) have been crunching numbers, leveraging data from their projects to see if they could predict a reentry.

  39. Speed Smith

    Australia, come on down Scot, its not that bad, mostly. I would be happy to show you around.

  40. erin mcdonald

    Off topic, but I like his shirt, looks like the Big Dipper over Joshua Tree! Hope he sells them 😸

  41. Mark Rowland

    When Skylab landed in Australia, the local authority fined NASA for littering.

  42. Anthony Koon

    Imagine if out of all places, it ends up landing right on their launch facility causing millions in damages.😂

  43. Ange Einstein

    I worry, because the odds of it ending up near me are staggeringly small

  44. 55toby

    If it lands in my backyard I’ll send you a piece of it.

    From New Zealand.

  45. Dean Perkins

    Thanks for the timely video! I herd about this from a main stream news outlet and it lacked details and general information.

  46. Shadhiyi Ikeremm

    “it looks like South Africa 🇿🇦 is ruled out…” 💪💪 Great, cos I legit don’t wanna be woken up at midnight by explosions😅

  47. TetonGemWorks

    These folks did a great job of predicting on the last Chinese station entry track. Still a huge error bar of + – 4 hours…

  48. heatshield

    “Shuttle development is clearly not something to be making predictions about”.
    Three livestreams to build LEGO Shuttle.😁

  49. DoubleZero

    1:53 Oh god, I live in the orbit path of this booster. I hope it doesn’t fall on me.

  50. Tanner Swizel

    I’m placing my bets on this re-entering over the Indian Ocean, South of Sri Lanka by several hundred miles

  51. Nick Mullins

    “The local wildlife was more dangerous than Skylab was” BEST.MANLEY.EVER!

  52. Denis Despins

    I like your delivery. A “cool head’ like yours SHOULD prevail !

  53. Jake M

    I’ll be keeping an eye out tonight in Southwest Florida 👍🌠

  54. Carlos López

    That Fly Safe at the end sounded very suggestive 😂

  55. chris vanderburg

    Great content Scott. Thumbs up all the way.

  56. M Masque

    “Aimed to impact in the middle of a convenient ocean.”
    That implies there are inconvenient oceans, too.

  57. GTKinzel

    I believe in this case it should be “deorbit safe” XD Nice video!

  58. Robert B

    Just was trying to explain this to my wife last night when she asked “how don’t they know where it will land.” I caught the essentials but could have done way better if I’d watched this first.

  59. Andrew Trunkfield

    Thanks Scott, I’d seen stuff on TikTok about this but nothing in the mainstream so wasn’t sure what to believe. You make this science stuff real, itchy nose and all!! 👍

  60. The Rogue Wolf

    You see, if we’d given Australia advance warning, the giant man-eating spiders that live there could’ve woven a web and caught the debris!

  61. Icke Bins

    Greetings from europe.
    Remember to wear your safety hats and goggles.

  62. Thomas Cooley

    Pretty sure there are a lot of boosters from apollo in the Indian Ocean acting like tiny reefs still

  63. PlanetDisco

    Yep flying straight over Melbourne multiple times. Nice one…. 🤨 I’m old enough to remember Skylab coming down here. My whole family were watching it on the news when this terrible screeching of torn metal sound came from the roof and we all looked at each other in consternation. It turned out it was the cat climbing up there and it was a super frosty night and he’d started sliding uncontrollably down the roof on the ice and was using his claws like a set of crampons on the corrugated iron! 😝

  64. RocKITEman _ 2001

    _”…the local wildlife was more dangerous than Skylab could be.”_

  65. ethan dye

    new intro! :D looks great!

  66. Tony Henthorn

    Brings back memories of Skylab crashing to Earth back in the ’70s. Some jokesters even sold “Skylab repellent.” Radio stations took bets on where it would land. Somebody built a giant target on his property. But it landed in Australia instead.

  67. Silver Fox

    hey scott loved the stare down at the end haha hope all is well from another scottish guy :D love the stuff keep it up

  68. Rich Waight

    Super interesting history of deorbiting! 🙌

  69. derek meier

    You could see that SpaceX second stage breaking up down in southern Oregon and I got to see it while I was on my drive home.

  70. Nathan VanderWal

    So you telling me that if I see a bright light in the sky that ain’t moving, ain’t got no trail, and is getting brighter, I should take a few steps to the side just to be safe?

  71. T P

    Okay Scott, that was a good thing to know, if I see it I’m only going to be worried about people down range.

  72. Darryl Carnell

    First time viewer, but I am an instant fan.


    I’m Scott Manely. De-orbit safe.

  74. Narayan Mohanram

    I was told that my odds of winning the lottery are now higher. So I bought a few lottery tickets. I hope I don’t get hit by the long march after I win the lottery :-)

  75. Chen Junqian

    America:Skylab falling on Australia: $400 fine for littering
    Russia: Mir falling on Pacific: paint a giant target on the ocean

  76. G- Low

    about salyut 7. the main body hit the andes mountains. but big pieces fell in at least 4 states. some of them are kept in the “asociacion entrerriana de astronomia” (Entre rios astronomy assosiation)

  77. Technoking Gaming

    I looked at the predicted path…
    I would laugh if it landed in Esperance again (this was where skylab crashed)

  78. Gene Lomas

    Looking at the prediction animation, I see that the flight path crosses my location twice..
    * Fingers crossed I get to see it*

  79. Helium Road

    If you look up “colony drop” in TV Tropes, Skylab is given as a real life example lol.

  80. Juan Kulichevsky

    Just a small correction: debris from Salyut 7 was found in Argentina and you can even visit some at an observatory in the Entre Ríos Province.

  81. Søren Hartmann

    Yet another great video with topics explained in an understandable manner. Thanks

  82. Akshara Narayana

    The last line sounded like a warning to all space agencies tbh😂😂😂

  83. Prudvi Kamtam

    “Local wildlife could be dangerous than skylab could be” 😂

  84. Quazar501

    Breaking News: Space rocket fell on dangerous australian animal, saving man’s life.

  85. The Perth Guy with the Bo

    One of my Uncles was in Esperance when Skylab came down and he got a few pieces and gave them to family members. I lost our piece – a bit of foam insulation – one year but it was the coolest thing ever to me as a space nerd child.

  86. Jason Spiteri

    That’s the most heavy and meaningful “fly safe” I’ve ever heard

  87. That Saxophone Guy

    Anyone else remember back when Mir’s projected landing area was released, Taco Bell put a target out in the Pacific for Mir to hit for free tacos?

  88. Nathan Start

    I’ve been to the town ( Esperance on the south coast of WA) where Skylab landed. They have a museum right in the centre of town filled with bit of oxygen tanks and shielding. When the NASA official came to the town for a look he got a big Welcome and a fine of $400(Aussie dollars) for littering as a joke. In the 90s a LA radio DJ found out and managed to get his listeners to help pay the fine as a publicity stunt. It was given to the shire as a oversized check for a laugh. The check is now also in the museum.

  89. Craefter

    Spacex should let Scott Manley do the commentary for a launch one time so he can end the live stream with “I’m Scott Manley, fly safe!”.

  90. Peter Wood

    Living in Africa, I can guarantee those pieces are being used somewhere as water pipes or gutters. Love the thought of someone having space grade guttering

  91. ClemensAlive

    Get Jeb on EVA and push it with EVA pack.

  92. Don Carlo di Vargas

    In Australia the wildlife are so dangerous that they do not mind a space station coming swishing down from the sky, even when the Australians can see the space station coming they still keep a lookout for spiders and snakes

  93. webdaddy

    It’s even harder to predict, because as Scott mentions, the stage is tumbling and that varies its resistance and drag to the increasing atmospheric friction.

  94. Masto852

    NASA still owes us a (joke) fine for littering when Skylab came down 🇦🇺

  95. tommihommi1

    When the error bars are the size of the entire planet

  96. cmdr Panorpa

    As an Australian I can confirm the wildlife would be more dangerous than skylab, you would see skylab before it attacked you.

  97. javed akhtar

    “Local wildlife is more dangerous than Skylab could ever be” 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  98. Jeremiah

    I live in Australia, and the wild life is definitely more dangerous than Skylab falling from the sky.

  99. AssaultFlamingo 2.0

    3:33 As an Australian, I can confirm that statement. Beware the Dropbears.

  100. Ho Lam YIU

    You deserve a veteran’s discount if you remember Tiangong-1

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