A number of scientists announced that it is likely that the missile launched by the first Chinese space station last week will enter the atmosphere on May 8, and this came according to early space tracking predictions, and US Defense Department spokesman Mike Howard said in a statement issued yesterday, “It cannot be determined.” The precise entry point of the missile into the Earth’s atmosphere is only within hours of its return, which is expected to be around May 8th.
“Until then, the 18th Space Control Squadron will provide daily updates to the missile fuselage website at www.space-track.org starting May 4,” the statement added. We will provide additional information as it becomes available. ”
After the launch of the missile on April 28, the empty rocket body is now in an orbit at an altitude of 162 x 306 km according to the 18th Space Control Squadron in the US space, with a decrease from an initial orbit of 170 x 372 km, and without the ability to restart the rocket engines and not to control it, The base phase will be dragged towards Earth by increasing collisions with particles in the Earth’s atmosphere, atmospheric fluctuations and other variables and the high velocity of the phase means that accurate predictions of when and where the phase re-entry will only be possible a few hours before the event.
The orbital inclination of the “Long March 5B” base stage comes at 41.5 degrees, which means that the missile body passes a little north away from New York, Madrid, Beijing and even southern Chile and Wellington, New Zealand, and it can re-enter it at any point. The latest update is expected yesterday, May 4, from the space company. Atmospheric re-entry into the atmosphere will occur on May 9 at 04:37 GMT, with a margin of error of plus or minus 28 hours.
Yesterday, the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) stated that its automatic warning system regarding dangerous situations in outer space indicated that the “Long March 5B” missile had been prepared for an uncontrolled return entry. China has not yet commented on the status of the long march and plans to launch. More spacecraft and launch vehicles to build a space station of three units during 2021-2022.
China is currently preparing to send the “Tianzhou-2” spacecraft to “Tianhe” in the next few weeks, using the “Long March 7” missile. The first mission, “Shenzhou-12”, is expected to send three astronauts to the new orbital position next June.
The “Long March 5B” was designed specifically to launch units for the Chinese space station in low Earth orbit, and a test flight in 2020 also saw the basic stage reach orbital velocity, and this accident saw the return of the stage over the Atlantic Ocean with local reports indicating that the debris from That 20-ton stage apparently made it past and landed in the African nation of Côte d’Ivoire.
The head of the European Space Agency’s space safety program office, Holger Krag, told «spacenews» that the average mass of a rocket is about 100 tons and that it enters the atmosphere in an uncontrolled manner every year, saying: “It is always difficult to assess the amount of mass remaining and the number of fragments without knowing the design of the body. “But the general reasonable rule of thumb is about 20-40% of the original dry mass.”
He explained, unlike the old “Long March” missiles, the “Long March 5B” base stage uses liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen for fuel, and the older generation missiles of the “Long March 2”, 3 and 4 series use a toxic propellant group of hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide, which That would make residual debris from re-entry potentially dangerous to anyone approaching the wreck.
Debris from Chinese missile launches from internal space ports are sometimes located inside populated areas. It is understood that China is taking precautions against causing injury through safety notices, evacuations and missile fall areas, as well as experimenting with technologies including network fins and clamps. .
While much attention has been paid to the threat to people on Earth and aircraft in flight from re-entry of satellite and missile components, the space company last year raised the issue of pollution resulting from re-entry.