There is a danger that a launch vehicle called the Long March will end up in a populated area.
Launcher, which allowed China to launch the first module needed to build its own space station into Earth ‘s orbit, could fall uncontrollably into the Earth’ s crust in the coming days.
The module was launched into Earth’s shallow orbit on April 29 from Wenchang Space Center in China. A launch vehicle called the Long March 5B, which carried the module, also ended up in orbit, the core of which is now expected to fall into a hitherto unknown place on the earth’s crust. There is a danger that it will end up in a populated area.
Read more: China begins construction of Heavenly Palace, its new space station – First module launched into orbit
I am leaving currently a 30-meter-high and five-meter-wide rocket is expected to return to Earth on May 10. However, the return may take place two days earlier or later than this time. It seems to be one of the largest uncontrolled collisions of the spacecraft on Earth to date, says the Space News website.
To date, the largest spacecraft that has returned uncontrollably to Earth has been Nassa’s 76-ton Skylab, the remains of which eventually spread over a large area of the Indian Ocean and Western Australia in 1979.
Launchers often do not reach Earth’s orbit, allowing them to return relatively easily to a predetermined zone of the Earth’s crust. The largest rockets usually steer themselves out of orbit to allow a quick return to Earth or to avoid colliding with other spacecraft. This is how Long March 5B has not done.
The United States the army has designated the Long March rocket target 2021-035B. Its route can be followed online, for example, at orbit.ing-now.com.
On Tuesday, the core of the rocket orbited the Earth every 90 minutes at a speed of about 27,600 kilometers per hour. It had a flight altitude of more than 300 kilometers, he says British newspaper The Guardian. By the weekend, its altitude had dropped by about 80 miles. According to Space News, enthusiast observers have said it swirls uncontrollably.
Due to its unstable motion and high velocity, the estimated landing point of the rocket on Earth cannot yet be located. Since the seas cover about 71 percent of the earth’s surface, it is likely that the Long March will end up in the water.
Harvard University astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell however, it is possible that some parts of the rocket will not be destroyed by extreme heat as they enter the Earth’s atmosphere, but their collision with the Earth’s crust may correspond to a “minor plane crash”. Its effects could spread as far as 160 kilometers.
Return rocket parts made of steel and titanium, for example, may survive the heat caused by. They would fall on the earth’s crust at a tremendous speed in a vertical line.
Director of the European Space Agency’s ESA Space Security Center Holger Krag tells Space News that in one year, an average of one hundred thousand pounds of space debris will return to Earth uncontrollably.
“This equates to 50 to 60 individual events each year,” he notes.
According to Krag, without detailed information about the structure of the object, it is difficult to estimate the number of mass and parts that will survive the return. According to him, it is 20-40% of the original dry mass.
The current based on its orbit, the Long March rocket will cross the Earth’s northernmost route from the level of New York, Madrid, and Beijing, and, according to the southernmost option, from the level of Wellington, Chile and New Zealand. Return can occur anywhere between these areas.
According to McDowell, the return time of a rocket can be calculated to the nearest six hours after the date of arrival is known.
From Since 1990, no space object weighing more than ten tons has been intentionally left to return uncontrollably from Earth’s orbit. The long march 5B weighs about 21,000 pounds. Indeed, astrophysicist McDowell criticizes China for its irresponsible behavior when it has left its launcher to launch.
In May 2020, the second Long March rocket was partially destroyed when it returned to Earth. Most of it ended up in the Atlantic Ocean, but the scrap also ended up in the area of villages inhabited by Côte d’Ivoire in Africa. However, no one was injured in the case.
China’s The space station, designated Heavenly Palace, is estimated to be completed by the end of 2022. At least ten more transport flights are needed to assemble the station. When completed, it will be less than a quarter of the size of the International Space Station (ISS).
Correction 4.5. at 7:24 p.m .: It was previously erroneously written in the story that, based on its current orbit, the rocket would cross the Earth’s northernmost route from north of New York, Madrid, and Beijing, and, according to the southernmost alternative, south of Wellington, Chile and New Zealand. In fact, the rocket will cross the Earth’s northernmost route when completed from the level of New York, Madrid, and Beijing, and, according to the southernmost option, from the level of Wellington, Chile and New Zealand. Return can occur anywhere between these areas.
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