Should we really be worried about China's uncontrolled rocket booster reentries?

It probably would have helped put this particular risk into perspective if it had been compared to the risk of aircraft crashing and killing people on the ground. Yes, that happens, yet we still see aircraft taking off from airports near large cities and flying over these densely populated areas thousands of times each day. See .

But note that the really large numbers of fatalities are from the 9/11/2001 intentional crashes during a terrorist attack on the U.S. Disregarding those, the deadliest accidental crash of an aircraft was the 1996 Air Africa crash, which resulted in the deaths of at least 225 people on the ground. There have been at least 212 aircraft crashes that caused ground fatalities since 1935, with the highest numbers occurring in the more recent years, of course.

So, comparatively, the risk from these Chinese rockets is not substantially increasing our risks of being clobbered by falling debris.

But, it is not necessary to create this risk, because there are techniques that can greatly reduce it. However, there are people who still sail boats around the world that just might be in the wrong place in the South Pacific at the wrong time, so there is still going to be a bit of risk. Even intentionally landing the boosters like SpaceX does can go wrong, so we can never get completely rid of the risk.
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