Science & Technology

An uncontrollable fall from space, a giant Chinese rocket highlights the risk of space debris

According to experts, the future re-entry of the Chinese Long March 5B rocket body into the atmosphere is reminiscent of a much bigger problem.

Long March 5 Launched core module for Chinese space station Currently, satellite and space debris surveillance groups are closely monitoring the core stage of large rockets. This stage will soon fall to Earth in an uncontrollable way. Debris left over from that fiery fall can reach Terra Farm.

According to one report, the hardware rolls along an elliptical orbit and will fall to Earth in a few days, perhaps May 9.

However, it is difficult to say where the rocket will fall. No one knows the exact date and time when the rocket body disappeared. In short, the rocket body equation is a dilemma.

The size of the problem

“This isn’t really about this one rocket body, because all rocket bodies in Earth’s orbit are out of control,” said the TS of CelesTrak, an analytical group that monitors objects orbiting the Earth. Kelso explains.

The true size of the problem is CelesTrak Quick Check..

“It shows that there are 2,033 rocket bodies in Earth’s orbit … at least we have orbital data because there may be more classified ones. Of course, all of them. Of the 2,033, 546 belong to the United States and only 169 belong to China.

“Maybe we all need to be more responsible and not leave uncontrolled rocket bodies in orbit,” Kelso told Inside Outer Space.

where are they?

But the United States is not even the worst criminal in orbiting booster debris. It will be Russia with 1,035 rocket bodies.

“There are another 66 rockets in Earth’s orbit that have no data because they are classified,” Kelso said. In other words, there is no such thing as “where is it?” Available orbital elements. “In most cases, they don’t know which orbit they are in, so with little warning they can re-orbit or encounter something else in orbit.”

Kelso added that one of them was launched in 1967 and eight were launched in the 1970s.


There are still 32 rocket bodies in orbit just for the 2020 launch.15 of them Space debris I’m Chinese. According to Kelso, 10 people were lofted by the United States, five of whom were on confidential missions.

“The problem is that we need to reduce the number to zero. We need to start working now so that we don’t continue to exacerbate this problem,” Kelso concludes. “But the bottom line is that we all need to do better to stop leaving things in orbit after intended use and find a safe way to get rid of them.”

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An uncontrollable fall from space, a giant Chinese rocket highlights the risk of space debris An uncontrollable fall from space, a giant Chinese rocket highlights the risk of space debris

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