Rocket debris risk

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brian livesey
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Rocket debris risk

Post by brian livesey »

In May 2020, debris from a Long March rocket fell on villages in Cote de’ Ivori. Now, the Long March 5B rocket, that recently launched the Tianhe living quarters module for China’s Space Station, has dropped into a lower orbit and threatens to make an uncontrolled re-entry. The rocket is 30-metres long.
Whether or not it poses a risk over Britain the report didn’t say, although we can always wear a pan on our heads just in case :wink: .
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brian livesey
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Re: Rocket debris risk

Post by brian livesey »

The rocket was seen passing over Iowa by one observer. Apparently, it will come down on March 8. There’s a 70% chance that the rocket will enter the sea, but nobody knows where: www.spaceweather.com .
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JohnM
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Re: Rocket debris risk

Post by JohnM »

There is a page with some details of the re-entry at https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/scie ... 021-05-06/ .

The Chinese space station orbit can be seen by looking for Tianhe-1 on Heavens above. From the orbits it seems to be South of the UK at present.

The launch rocket will have been following the same path so is unlikely to fall on the UK but we might just see the re-entry low in the southern sky but only a few degrees above the horizon about as high as Sagittarius.

The current predictions are on https://www.space-track.org/ ( Note you need to sign up for an account)

I think the very summary tracking page linked to the 'Home Page' (after you have signed in). The current re-entry position appears to be somewhere between the North of New Zealand & Fiji. The exact position of course depends on the drag as it re-enters the atmosphere and how it breaks up.

The location is very close to the international date line so there might be some confusion about the impact date.

John
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brian livesey
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Re: Rocket debris risk

Post by brian livesey »

On today’s www.spaceweather.com there’s a blow-up image of China’s space station module with its solar arrays extended.
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JohnM
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Re: Rocket debris risk

Post by JohnM »

There are now two different predictions on the Space track site. The first in still north of New Zealand but the second is somewhere in southern Tajikistan near the Iran border - just off the M37 according to Google Maps.

I can's publish the details due to the user agreement I have 'signed up to' on the Space Track Website - the US Government are a bit touchy about people publishing the information of the website.

It is interesting to note just how many bits of Starlink satellites have reentered - the count is over 700 at present. It is not clear to me if these are defunct satellites or the launch carrier and other bits but a lot seem to have individual Starlink numbers so I assume they are in fact defunct satellites.
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