Why is another Chinese space component going to impact the Earth today in an uncontrolled way?

The US has accused China of irresponsible practices

Updated

European surveillance centers warn that a part of the Chinese rocket that put the last module of the Tiangong space station into orbit would fall to Earth this morning in a strip that includes Spain.

Predicted path to be followed by the runaway rocket
Predicted path to be followed by the runaway rocketEU SST
  • This Friday An uncontrolled Chinese rocket causes the closure of the airports of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands and problems in Spanish air traffic

China announced this week that it has already completed its space station, Tiangong (which in Mandarin means Heavenly Palace) but a few hours later, an alert from the Space Surveillance and Tracking Operations Centers (EU SST) warned that One of the components of the rocket was going to impact the Earth in an uncontrolled way this Friday. An alert that has caused the temporary closure of the airports of Catalonia and Ibiza, since part of Spain is on the route that the rocket is going to follow.

As detailed by the European organization EU SST, the fragment they have been monitoring is a large space object called CZ-5B (2022-143B) that was launched on October 31, and the last update made this morning estimated the time of the fall at 8:50 this Friday with a margin of error of 31 minutes, in a strip that included part of the Iberian Peninsula. However, it has not yet been reported whether and where the fragment has already fallen.

It is the central stage of the rocket that put the Mengtian laboratory, the third module of the Chinese space station, into orbit.

China continues to progress in its space program by leaps and bounds but following procedures that the United States has described as irresponsible on several occasions, since there are already several alerts for each space of large components that have been produced as it was launching at a very fast pace the phases of your space home.

Rockets launched to launch spacecraft into orbit consist of several stages, or phases, usually three. As you gain altitude, stages are released or dropped, which are carefully planned so they don’t fall into populated areas where they can cause damage.

last room of your space station

In total, the Chinese Tiangon station weighs about 70 tons and is expected to operate for about 15 years, orbiting about 400 kilometers from the Earth’s surface.

The new module whose launch has caused the alert for falling space debris has a length of 17.8 meters and a diameter of 4.2 meters and weighed about 23.3 tons at the time of launch, according to data provided by China. This new ‘room’ of the station will be an area exclusively dedicated to the work and sports practice of the taikonauts (Chinese astronauts), while the other two modules that the station has have bathrooms and bedrooms.

China’s Manned Mission Space Agency (AMTS) announced that the period to assemble this laboratory in the rest of the large space structure successfully concluded at 9:32 local time on Thursday (01:32 GMT).

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