Uncontrolled remnants of a Chinese missile fell into the Pacific Ocean
The burnt remains of China's huge rocket booster entered the Earth's atmosphere uncontrollably a few hours ago and fell into the Pacific Ocean.
The fall of this large part of the rocket, which was again criticized as an irresponsible and dangerous act by the western space agencies, is the fourth uncontrolled re-entry of the Long March 5B rocket booster, which has been operating since two years ago. has started to send large Chinese cargoes into Earth orbit.
According to the US Space Command, which is a subsidiary of the Ministry of Defense of this country, the rocket launched just after 6:00 a.m. Eastern time zone (1:30 p.m. Tehran) entered the Earth's atmosphere over the South Central Pacific Ocean. In the October 31 mission, this booster put another part of China's new space station called "Tiangong" into orbit.
Experts have repeatedly criticized this process of returning rockets and called it They consider it an unnecessary risk. Lael Woods, a space traffic management specialist, said about this: "The lower the acceptable risk, the more expensive the design, but this is what must be done."
The booster of this rocket in The total length is 33 meters. Although a large part of this 22-ton hardware burns up during the process of returning to the Earth's thick atmosphere, usually about 10-40% of it remains intact and is considered a serious threat to the population of the fall zone.
Although the Long March rocket 5B has so far not posed a direct danger to people, but its remains have been found on land in some cases. Among other things, after the uncontrolled fall of one of the boosters in 2022, its remains were found in Malaysia and the Philippines.
"Zhao Lijian", the spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, before the fall of the missile, about this "As a principle, I emphasize that China has always carried out activities for the peaceful use of outer space in accordance with international laws and procedures," he said. It is accepted international practice that the upper stages of rockets re-enter the atmosphere. The Chinese authorities are closely monitoring the orbital parameters of the relevant missile carcass, and we will provide the information to the international community in an open and transparent manner. Ensure their remains. Some companies ensure that rockets are guided into the ocean on return.
Even a company like SpaceX lands its original boosters intact so they can be recovered and reused. But despite the need for a safer landing, experts do not foresee China moving in the direction of redesigning its missile. Space norms and standards in areas such as acceptable risk for missile returns are really difficult. However, moving in this direction will be very valuable and important."
Cover photo: Launch of China's Long March 5B rocket on October 31, 2022
Credit: Hu Zhixuan/AP