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China’s’space garbage’ that made the earth tense… This can happen again

Tiangung 1, which China launched in 2011, also fell to Earth in 2018, causing controversy over’Russian Roulette’. The picture is a picture of the crash of Tiangung 1. [중앙포토]

As early as today (8th), rocket debris launched by China will fall to Earth. It is 30m long and weighs 21t, and the world is tense as it can cause enormous human and property damage depending on where it falls.

This massive’space trash’ that has terrorized the world stems from China’s plans to establish a space station. China announced in 2018 that it would build a manned space station (Tiangong 3) in which people reside in space. Tianhe 1, which was carried by Changjeong-5B into space, is the core platform of the space station promoted by China.

Tianhe 1, with a length of 16.6m and a diameter of 4.2m, has a living space that provides propulsion to maintain orbit and supports space life for astronauts. Tianhe 1 rotates around the Earth every 90 minutes at a speed of 27,600 km/h at an altitude of 300 km or more outside the atmosphere.

Changjeong-5B transports core modules of space station in China

The Changjeong-5B, launched by China on April 29 at Wenchang Base in Hainan Province. [사진 중국국가항천국]

The Changjeong-5B, launched by China on April 29 at Wenchang Base in Hainan Province. [사진 중국국가항천국]

On the other hand, the Changjeong-5B, which weighed 837 tons at the time of launch, has deviated from orbit since the 5th and has continued to descend in altitude. The 5m diameter debris falling to Earth is 30m long and weighs 21t. It is so heavy that it is more likely to fall to the ground without being burned in the atmosphere.

Jonathan McDowell, Ph. Said.

Changjeong-5B launched by China into space carrying the core module of a manned space station. [사진 중국국가항천국]

Changjeong-5B launched by China into space carrying the core module of a manned space station. [사진 중국국가항천국]

Indeed, China is in a position that there is no problem. The Global Times, a Chinese state media, reported on the 5th that “there is a very high probability that the fragments of the Changjeong-5B will fall into the sea,” citing an expert analysis. Through this report, China predicted that “most of the debris will burn while entering the atmosphere and very little debris will fall to the ground.” Chinese military critic Song Zhongping also argued that it was “an old strategy used by hostile powers”, saying, “It is an exaggeration of some Western powers on China’s development of space technology.”

Chinese “will fall into the sea” Why “because it occupies 71% of the planet”

However, China has not been able to provide evidence that it will fall into the sea. The reason for claiming to fall into the sea is that the sea is wider than the land. About 71% of the planet is sea.

But if you turn it over, the probability of falling on land is also 29%. White House spokesman Jen Saki said at a briefing on the 5th (local time) that “acting responsibly in space is in the common interest of all countries.”

Cho Sung-ki, director of the Space Risk Monitoring Center at the Korea Astronomical Research Institute, said, “The US raised a safety issue for the phenomenon that the Changjeong-5B was spinning irregularly, and China claimed that it was’controlling it,’ but did not provide evidence. Overall, it is judged that the US claims are correct,” he explained. “By monitoring Changjeong-5B in real time, we are closely monitoring the possibility of falling into Korea.”

Chinese space launch vehicle Changjeong-5B debris crash prediction trajectory.  Graphic Reporter Joo-won Kim

Chinese space launch vehicle Changjeong-5B debris crash prediction trajectory. Graphic Reporter Joo-won Kim

“More terrible space junk might fall”

The bigger problem is that similar problems can continue in the future. In addition to Tianhe 1, Tian Gong 3 is manufactured by assembling 4 modules. There are two laboratory modules (Wintian and Mongtian) that will serve as space laboratories in Tiangung. It consists of a cargo and fuel supply ship (Tianzhou) and a manned space ship (Hsinchu).

China plans to assemble a space station after launching 11 rockets by the end of next year, launching each of the modules and parts. The total weight of the multi-modular space station is known to be 66 tons, and it is expected to operate for the next 10 to 15 years. Three astronauts can stay for six months in Tiangung, orbiting the Earth at an altitude of 340 to 450 km.

The crash development chart released by the space environment monitoring agency at the time when China's Tiangung 1 crashed to Earth in 2018. [사진 우주환경감시기관]

The crash development map released by the space environment monitoring agency at the time when China’s Tiangung 1 crashed to Earth in 2018. [사진 우주환경감시기관]

In the past, China has inflicted such a’worship on the earth’. On May 5 last year, a rocket debris launched by China passed through the atmosphere on the 11th and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean six days later. At the time, some rocket fragments that did not burn in the atmosphere have been discovered in Ivory Coast.

The first space station (Tiangung 1) launched by China in September 2011 was also caught in a similar controversy. At the end of its service life, Tian Gong 1 crashed to Earth in early 2018. At the time, controversy arose that the Chinese authorities had lost control of the falling Tian Gong 1. Fortunately, it did not crash in the South Pacific, causing any casualties.

Reporter Moon Hee-cheol [email protected]


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