last week We saw How was China preparing to start building its own space station. After the successful launch of the first segment of the station, the missile that took it into orbit was about to return to Earth. But it will return uncontrolled and become One of the largest organisms that can be reintroduced uncontrollably.
Depending Reflects the spaceAnd the The missile is expected to enter the atmosphere again on May 10 at 3 am ET.. Of course, with an approximate 41-hour window. Depending on the path the missile is taking and its orbital inclination of 41.5 degrees, it can land as far north as Madrid and as far south as New Zealand.
He is not expected to fall uncontrollably Center stage in a Long March 5B Rocket, Which brought the first part of the Tianhe Space Station into orbit. At about 50 meters high and 5 meters wide, it is one of the largest objects that can be expected to enter Earth again in an uncontrollable way. It weighs about 20 metric tons.
Starting The central stage was to return to Earth after the station was put into orbit and landed in a controlled position. However, something happened after the space station was put into orbit and instead of back, it got stuck in Earth’s orbit.
Burnt in midair, hopefully
Is this dangerous? In principle it is not necessary. Once the missile begins to enter the atmosphere It will be burned and smashed before it reaches the ground. However, due to its size and because it falls uncontrollably, there is a small possibility that some debris will reach the surface in populated areas.
Space agencies usually perform maneuvers for dropping objects to Earth. With these maneuvers they get it Re-entry control so that it burns or falls as much as possible in oceans and unpopulated areas. However, data collected with the instruments on the ground shows that the Long March 5B base stage is out of control.
Until the missile re-entry is confirmed, It would be impossible to pinpoint where it fell more precisely If there is debris reaching the surface. China has some experience with this.
Objects of this size They seldom got in out of control. The last to beat was the Russian Salyut 7 spacecraft, which weighed 39 metric tons and ended up over Argentina in 1991. The largest object that caused uncontrolled re-entry was the US Skylab station, which weighed 79 tons over the Indian Ocean and western Australia in the year 2000. 1979.
Via | Vice