Chinese rocket in uncontrolled re-entry (1 Viewer)

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Linda

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Not sure our insurance covers this.....

The last time something this big fell on land was Skylab in Western Australia in 1979. I believe the Australian government submitted claims to the US. We might want to keep our eyes on this one - and some manifestation of non-lethal re-entry - perhaps in China .... just saying....

China launched the first module for its space station into orbit late Wednesday, but the mission launcher also reached orbit and is slowly and unpredictably heading back to Earth.
The Long March 5B, a variant of China’s largest rocket, successfully launched the 22.5-metric-ton Tianhe module from Wenchang Thursday local time. Tianhe separated from the core stage of the launcher after 492 seconds of flight, directly entering its planned initial orbit.
Designed specifically to launch space station modules into low Earth orbit, the Long March 5B uniquely uses a core stage and four side boosters to place its payload directly into low Earth orbit.
However this core stage is now also in orbit and is likely to make an uncontrolled reentry over the next days or week as growing interaction with the atmosphere drags it to Earth. If so, it will be one of the largest instances of uncontrolled reentry of a spacecraft and could potentially land on an inhabited area.
 
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Pod

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I listened to that piece of info being narrated by Cliff High and giggled. What is really fascinating about the whole drama is the possibility that in coming back to Earth the rocket may well destroy many of Elon Musk's 5G satellites "Starlink"

My inner Buddha thinks it is very funny and perfect. With luck large junks of the rocket launcher will land on Parliament in London. When parliamentarians are all in the bar! Yay!!!!

I have such faith in Divine Justice now.
 
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Linda

Linda

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Looked for an update but found none - I know, big surprise. I figure the amateur astronomers will be the ones keeping us in the loop on this one. No fear - just curious.
 

Pod

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Looked for an update but found none - I know, big surprise. I figure the amateur astronomers will be the ones keeping us in the loop on this one. No fear - just curious.

Space debris trackers observed it moving slowly and unpredictably to Earth over the past few days, and reentry of the vehicle would be one of the largest uncontrolled descents on record.
 
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Linda

Linda

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Hat-tip to Pod for this one.

Keep your eyes peeled - it may come down this weekend. This article covers more ideas than the others, including China being reckless and just how much junk is orbiting the planet. (Cool video at end of article.)

China has bridled at the suggestion that it has been negligent in allowing the uncontrolled return of so large an object. Commentary in the country's media has described Western reports about the potential hazards involved as "hype" and predicted the debris will likely fall somewhere in international waters.
The Global Times quoted aerospace expert Song Zhongping who added that China's space monitoring network would keep a close watch and take necessary measures should damage occur.
But the respected cataloguer of space activity, Jonathan McDowell from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, US, said the situation did reflect poorly on China.
"It is indeed seen as negligence," he told BBC News.
"This is the second launch of this rocket; the debris in Ivory Coast last year was from the previous launch, i.e. a basically identical rocket.
"These two incidents [the one now and the Ivory Coast one] are the two largest objects deliberately left to re-enter uncontrolled since Skylab in 1979."

Looks like those of you in the UK, Canada, and thereabouts will be just fine.

_118408416_chinese_rocket_falling_map_41_640-nc.png

 
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Linda

Linda

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But wait, there's more....

This article is even better. I remember Skylab - people were fascinated about where it would land.

As of this posting, the Aerospace Corporation estimates that the CZ-5B rocket body will finally fall toward Earth at 11:53 p.m. EDT on Saturday May 8 (03:53 UTC on Sunday May 9), with a plus-minus of 11 hours, while SpaceTrack.org has it happening about 30 minutes earlier, with a plus-minus of nine hours.

“The thing about the Apollo spacecraft is that they came in vertically from the Moon, so we knew the exact orbit,” Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, explained to me over the phone. “But this rocket is moving tangent to the atmosphere—it’s body surfing the outer atmosphere horizontally, and constantly grazing it as the rocket comes down towards it.”
As a result, it’s difficult to predict when the rocket will heat up to the point that the structure will start to melt and fall to Earth, he said. This will depend on the various materials that comprise the rocket, its particular way of tumbling, and the changing density of the upper atmosphere, which varies each day due to space weather and solar activity, according to McDowell.

This next part is interesting because the author explains how the info gets filtered down to the little people.

“One possibility is that it’ll land in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, because that’s most of Earth,” he said. The U.S. Space Force will know immediately when it reenters the atmosphere thanks to infrared telescopes, which will see the flare as the rocket breaks up. The Space Force will know the “exact time to the minute” and the “exact location” of the point where it entered the atmosphere, McDowell said, but the military won’t tell the rest of us right away because that data is “sort of secret.”
The Space Force will “launder it through various levels of bureaucracy until it appears on a space tracker website, and we’ll have to pretend we don’t know this data came from early warning satellites,” said McDowell. In his experience, the required sign-offs, approval, and permission to make this information available on the web takes about three hours.

I was amused at this next part because he cites the power of twitter.

A similar set of events could unfold should the rocket break up over an uninhabited landmass, with the site of impact being revealed about three hours after the fact. But he foresees a very different finale should pieces of the disintegrating core stage crash onto a populated area.
“Then we’ll know within about 10 minutes, as people’s Twitter will furiously light up,” he said.

 
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Lila

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“Then we’ll know within about 10 minutes, as people’s Twitter will furiously light up,” he said.
...except for the areas which are blacked out due to the owners of those accounts being in big trouble.
 
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