Remnants from a Chinese rocket are expected to fall back to Earth in an uncontrolled re-entry this weekend.
The rocket, called Long March 5B, was launched from Wenchang Space Launch Centre on 29 April to carry Tianhe – the first module of China’s future space station – into orbit.
The spacecraft contains what will become living quarters for three crew on the space station and was the first of 11 missions needed to complete the station.
The body of the rocket is circling Earth and is about to enter the lower atmosphere.
Its exact point of descent “cannot be pinpointed until within hours of its re-entry”, which is projected to occur on Saturday.
The US said on Thursday it was tracking the path of the object from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California but that there were no plans to shoot it down.
“We’re hopeful that it will land in a place where it won’t harm anyone,” US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said.
“Hopefully, in the ocean or someplace like that.”