Chinese rocket re-enters Earth atmosphere uncontrolled over the Pacific Ocean
by Doug Cunningham
Washington DC (UPI) Nov 4, 2021
Chinese rocket debris weighing 23 tons is crashing to Earth in an uncontrolled descent Friday.
U.S. Space Command tweeted a confirmation that the rocket re-entered the Earth's atmosphere over the south-central Pacific Ocean at 4:01 a.m. Friday.
The rocket was launched on Oct. 31 carrying the third and final module for the Tiangong space station. Much of the debris is expected to burn up as it passes through Earth's atmosphere.
The Aerospace Corporation had calculated that the Chinese rocket would re-enter Earth's atmosphere Friday morning. Those predictive calculations include a huge area of possible re-entry, from parts of North America and nearly all of Central America to a large part of Africa and some of southeastern Australia.
A similar Chinese rocket re-entry happened in July with another Long March 5B rocket that also launched a Chinese space station module. That space junk came down over the Indian Ocean, with most of the debris burned and destroyed as the rocket fell through the Earth's atmosphere.
"The general rule of thumb is that 20-40% of the mass of a large object will reach the ground, but the exact number depends on the design of the object," the Aerospace Corporation wrote.
This is the fourth time that a Chinese rocket has fallen back to Earth uncontrolled. Space debris from other nations, including the United States, has also come back to Earth uncontrolled.
But Aerospace Corporation consultant Dr. Ted Muelhaupt said a small piece of SpaceX debris that landed uncontrolled in Australia was different that the Chinese uncontrolled descents.
"The thing I want to point out about this is that we, the world, don't deliberately launch things this big intending them to fall wherever," he said. "We haven't done that for 50 years."
But according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the way these rockets are re-entering Earth's atmosphere is not unusual. Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the Long March 5B rockets are designed for most of it to burn up and be destroyed during re-entry.
Spain briefly closes part of its airspace due to Chinese rocket debris
Flights were "totally restricted" for 40 minutes in Catalonia in the northeast and several other regions "due to the risk associated with the passage of the space object CZ-5B through the Spanish airspace," Catalonia's civil protection service tweeted.
The airspace closure, which began at 9:38 am (0838 GMT), affected several other regions in northern Spain, it added.
Flights in and out of Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, Tarragona, Reus and Ibiza in the Balearic Islands and other destinations were temporarily disrupted as a result, Spain's airport operator AENA said.
The rocket, the Long March 5B (CZ-5B), blasted off from southern China on Monday to deliver the last module for a Chinese space station currently under construction.
Debris from the rocket fell into the south-central Pacific Ocean at 11:01 am Spain time (1001 GMT), the US Space Command said in a tweet.
As rockets fall back to Earth, most of them burn up on re-entry, although large chunks may survive.
China has faced criticism for allowing rockets to fall to Earth uncontrolled in the past.
In July, remnants from a Chinese rocket fell into the Sulu Sea in the Philippines, prompting leading US officials to chide Beijing for not sharing information about the potentially hazardous object's descent.
SpiderOak wins contract with DoD to demonstrate OrbitSecure Zero-Trust Protocol On-Orbit
Washington DC (SPX) Nov 04, 2022
SpiderOak, the leader in complete cybersecurity solutions for next generation space systems, has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) to deliver the company's OrbitSecure zero-trust protocol on-orbit. The project will demonstrate end-to-end cybersecurity for the Department of Defense's future Hybrid Space Architecture, an initiative the U.S. Congress has begun referring to as the "Outernet" through legislation. As commercial space companies continue delivering increasi ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.