Science

Biggest Chinese Rocket Just Smashed Down to Earth in an Uncontrolled Fall

Biggest Chinese Rocket Just Smashed Down to Earth in an Uncontrolled Fall”

At 100 feet long and 16 feet wide, it was the largest piece of space debris to fall uncontrolled from low-Earth orbit in almost 30 years.

There was a high likelihood that if the Long March 5B rocket had re-entered the atmosphere about 15 to 20 minutes earlier, some of the debris could have hit the nation's largest city.

Days after its successful launch into the space, a huge chunk of a Chinese rocket has fallen back to the Earth.

Ground-based radars reportedly tracked the Long March 5B rocket body in space and that allowed U.S. military officials charged with monitoring space debris to regularly measure the core stage's decaying orbit.

The descent of the 17.8-tonne piece of the rocket was detected and tracked by a unit of the US Air Force, the 18th Space Control Squadron, which tracks space debris within Earth's orbit.

Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, told The Independent that: 'Even in space there's a thin bit of atmosphere left. The rocket's core stage measured around 100 feet (30 meters) long and 16 feet (5 meters) wide, with a mass of approximately 20 metric tons.

More news: Ottawa Announces $470-Million Benefit to Aid Fish Harvesters

As per McDowell's comments on Twitter "The problem is that it is traveling very fast horizontally through the atmosphere and it's hard to predict when it will finally come down".

CNN reported that the debris passed directly over Los Angeles and Central Park in New York City before landing in the Atlantic Ocean. The Air Force's final prediction was plus or minus half an hour, during which time it went 3/4 of the way around the world.

The rocket body was reportedly more massive than the Chinese Tiangong-1 space station that plummeted back to Earth (presumably landing somewhere in the ocean) in 2018.

Although he did not have access to a detailed model of debris, McDowell estimated that at least the dense components of the rocket engines would have survived. The #CZ5B launched China's test crew capsule on 5 May 2020. The last time a heavier object had an uncontrolled entry was 1991, when the 43-ton (39,000 kg) Salyut-7 Soviet space station reentered the atmosphere over Argentina, McDowell wrote on Twitter.

'Once they reach the lower atmosphere they are traveling relatively slowly, so worst case is they could take out a house'. Nevertheless, he tweeted that the rocket part's fall was unusual: "I've never seen a major reentry pass directly over so many major conurbations!"

A piece of a Chinese rocket launched as an experiment to send humans to the moon in the future has crash-landed in the Atlantic Ocean near the coast of Mauritania.



Like this

loading...
loading...

Latest


14 May 2020
Ohio Gov. DeWine: 'Risk' Either Way If It Locks Down Or Reopens
There are 24,777 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in OH and 1,357 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. The governor said the state will continue to monitor daily hospitalization rates which are now "pretty flat".

14 May 2020
Vitamin D could reduce COVID-19 complications
What the research is not suggesting, however, is that people need to take vitamin D supplements or seek to take excess vitamin D. If you're not a big fan of taking vitamin D supplements, you can always increase your vitamin D intake through your diet.

14 May 2020
New, mysterious ailment in child in Washington could be linked to coronavirus
After going into cardiac arrest, Juliet was airlifted to the Ochsner Hospital for Children, where she had to stay on a ventilator. In New York, where at least three children linked to the unsafe new disease have died , about 100 cases are under investigation.

14 May 2020
Scientists make sense of pulsating stars using NASA’s TESS satellite
TESS monitors large swaths of the sky for 27 days at a time, taking one full image every 30 minutes with each of its four cameras. A paper describing the findings, led by Bedding, appears in the May 14 issue of the journal Nature and is now available online.

14 May 2020
Trump faces emoluments lawsuit after court tosses his win
Frosh and Racine have said a sale to an entity other than a state or foreign government would be the end of their case. The Trump Organization said it will consider offers to buy out the 60-year lease on the hotel.

14 May 2020
Another 3 million Americans filed for unemployment last week
In the past eight weeks, 826,013 workers have filed initial claims for conventional unemployment insurance, according to U.S. Last week, the Department of Labor said the unemployment rate had risen from 4.4 precent to 14.7 percent.

14 May 2020
McLaren team withdraws from Grand Prix over positive coronavirus test
Another seven team officials across numerous F1 outfits had also been assessed and tested in Melbourne but were cleared of the virus.

14 May 2020
Trump 'looking at' Chinese companies trading on United States stock exchanges
The comments came as Trump continued to hammer China over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences for the landmark trade deal between the United States and Beijing.

14 May 2020
Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield III could finally happen -- for charity
We have to come up with something that is not a knockout grudge match. "I told you I had something for you". White said on the popular Tim and Sid podcast. "But Mike would have to want to do it as well".

14 May 2020
Raise a glass to ‘Hamilton’ coming to Disney + a full year early
However, Disney bumped up the release by over a year due to theaters being closed indefinitely over concerns of the coronavirus . It will feature the original Broadway cast, aiming to bring together the best elements of live theatre, film and streaming.