Chinese missile debris threatens to hit the ground

Chinese missile debris threatens to hit the ground

On Sunday, July 24, China launched into space the second part of the three modules Its space station is under construction. A week later, a question arises: where did the machine called Wentian, which weighs about 20 tons and without an astronaut on board, which was propelled from the Wenchang launch center on the tropical island of Hainan? TheThe US Space Command would like to know. requested by CNN (in English), This US joint command responsible for space operations believes that the bomber can fall to the ground “to meearly next week.”

For his part, Holger Kraj, head of the European Space Agency’s Space Debris Office, mentioned the appointment “Around the first of August.” for him Evaluate the return area of ​​the missile “Between latitude 41 N” (ie the latitude of Madrid or Naples in Europe) and latitude 41 south (i.e. who arrives in South Africa). So it seems that Metropolitan France has survived.

“Although it disintegrates as it enters the atmosphere, many pieces, some very large, will reach the surface.”always expect CNN Michael Byers, Professor at the University of British Columbia. However, the specialist space debris Effects ‘Very little danger to humans’ and ground infrastructure. Only fear, according to him: “Large pieces may cause damage if they fall in populated areas.” Very logically, the more waste there is, the more likely it is that some of it will end up on the floor.

This is not the first time that China has been criticized for its handling of space debris. Last year, the remnants of one of its units ended up on a similar missile In the Indian Ocean, near the Maldives, ten days after launch. NASA said Beijing did not Respectable responsible standards.

But in a study recently published in natural astronomyAnd the Researchers don’t hesitate to point out that the Chinese aren’t the only ones wrong: In 2016, the second stage of a SpaceX rocket was abandoned in orbitIt was back a month later over Indonesia, and two refrigerator-sized fuel tanks landed intact.

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