Debris of a Chinese missile is expected to crash to the ground in an uncontrolled re-entry this weekend.
The chance of it landing in any populated area is very low.
However, the situation raises questions about how different countries are responsible for space debris.
Previously, the US Space Agency, ContainerHe asked his Chinese counterpart to design his missiles so that they disintegrate into smaller pieces upon return to Earth, in accordance with international standards.
The recent rockets launched toward China’s incomplete space station, known as Tiangong, lack the ability to Controlled re-entry.
The last missile launch was on Sunday 24 July long walk 5 Bring a laboratory unit to Tiangong Station.
The Chinese government said on Wednesday that the re-entry of the missile would not pose a significant risk to anyone on land because it was likely to fall into the sea.
However, there is a possibility that parts of the missile could hit a populated area, as happened in May 2020 when a missile hit affected property in Côte d’Ivoire.
The empty missile body is now in Elliptical orbit around the earthwhere it is dragged into the uncontrolled re-entry.
The Aerospace Corporation, a California-based nonprofit, has indicated that re-entry will take place at approximately 00:24 GMT Sunday.
It’s too early to know where a file is 25 tons of rubble. The potential area where debris could fall includes the United States, Africa, Australia, Brazil, India and Southeast Asia, according to the company’s forecast.
“The lack of communication, along with what could be seen as unexpected results of the two previous launches, is what is worrisome,” the organization said.
When design objects disintegrate Re-enter the atmosphere It has become a priority for satellite operators. This is partly done using materials with lower melting temperatures, such as aluminum.
In the case of rockets, this can be costly, since materials used to store fuel, such as titanium, require very high temperatures to burn.
The sheer size of these objects is also a problem, especially in the case of the Long March 5, which weighs more than 25 tons.
Despite this, other space agencies are designing their rockets to disintegrate. into smaller pieces During re-entry since large parts of the NASA Skylab space station fell from orbit and landed in Australia in 1979.
Last year, after an earlier unmonitored return by the Chinese Manned Space Agency (CMSA), NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said: “China is clearly not meeting responsible standards with respect to it.” space debris“.
He added that “states that conduct space activities should reduce the risks to people and property on Earth from re-entry of space objects, and maximize transparency regarding these operations.”
The same Long March 5 configuration has been released twice before, once in May 2020 and once in May 2021, with different elements of Tiangong Station.
On both occasions, debris from the “central part” of the rocket was thrown to the ground, in Ivory Coast and alsoIndian Ocean. This came on the heels of a prototype that crashed in the Pacific Ocean in 2018.
None of these accidents caused any casualties, but they were met with criticism from various space agencies.
Tuesday, the official Chinese newspaper Global Times Western media accused of committing a smear campaign Led against the missile.
China began construction of the space station in April 2021 with the launch tianhmain unit.
The last launch carried the second of three units to the space station. laboratory unit WentianWith a length of 17.9 meters, it will be the first of two laboratories to join the station.
China expects Tiangong to be fully installed by the end of 2022.
Remember that You can receive notifications from the BBC World. Download and activate the new version of our app so you don’t miss our best content.
“Bacon advocate. Certified creator. Twitteraholic. Tv junkie. Beer fanatic. Internet nerd. Passionate thinker. Reader.”