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SpaceX and Falling Debris


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Some metallic debris crashed through the ceiling of my house, grazed the edge of my bed, bolting me upright, and set fire to the clothes locker. Furious, I got XI on the phone and was prepared to give

What I noticed was that there were no negative articles about SpaceX. Instead of admitting "debris" about the rocket booster falling out of orbit, there is talk of a fantastic display, and a dazzling

@César Chávez You appear to have some special reason or need to respond to others with vulgarity. You've done this to several people in the past, too. If "Pudgy" had been vulgar first, perhaps I misse

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What I noticed was that there were no negative articles about SpaceX. Instead of admitting "debris" about the rocket booster falling out of orbit, there is talk of a fantastic display, and a dazzling sky show.

But before Google would even put up anything (always positive) about SpaceX, it found space for 4 links to China's "problem" with falling debris, especially from the rocket booster falling out of orbit.

Also, the NYT just ran a huge story on how dangerous China's space program is.

When this type of thing happens on 95 out of 100 stories on different topics, one could get the impression it was done on purpose.😉

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1 hour ago, César Chávez said:

I know you love China and defend it at all cost.

I love a few things about China, but I hate other things, and there are plenty of good reasons to criticize it.

1 hour ago, César Chávez said:

Maybe because, you get paid by them to hush negative news from that out of control country.

I have found that when people decide to attack a person or people they don't like or speak against a country they don't like, that facts don't always matter. For example, you said that SpaceX debris is usually controlled while Chinese debris is not. This misses the point completely about the Google query. It's about uncontrolled debris that might fall out of orbit. Reading some content from the very first returned link says this:

"It really isn't about this one rocket body … because every rocket body in Earth orbit is uncontrolled," explains T.S. Kelso of CelesTrak, an analytical group that keeps an eye on Earth-orbiting objects.

The true magnitude of the problem can be identified by a quick check on CelesTrak.

"It shows there are 2,033 rocket bodies in Earth orbit … at least those that we have orbital data for, as there may be more classified ones. Of course, every one of them is uncontrolled. Of the 2,033, 546 belong to the U.S. and only 169 belong to China. . . . But the U.S. isn't even the worst offender in terms of orbiting booster debris. That would be Russia, with 1,035 rocket bodies.

This is another common problem with a lot of "news." The title of that link is:

https://www.space.com/china-huge-rocket-falling-from-space-junk-problem

So you'd think the article will try to make the case that the biggest problem is in "out of control China." But as you can see above the article admitted (albeit far down near the end) that a bigger problem is the US (546) and an even bigger problem is Russia (1,035). This doesn't include many objects from the US which aren't included because the information is classified. I assume Russia has similar classified rocket objects.

At any rate, the question was about how easy it is to get information on the last SpaceX rocket body (booster) that actually was supposed to stay in orbit but "fell out of orbit" uncontrolled and unpredictably.

The article on the most recent bit of SpaceX debris says this:

"While we await further confirmation on the details, here's the unofficial information we have so far. The widely reported bright objects in the sky were the debris from a Falcon 9 rocket 2nd stage that did not successfully have a deorbit burn," https://www.space.com/spacex-falling-rocket-debris-light-show

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3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

What I noticed was that there were no negative articles about SpaceX. Instead of admitting "debris" about the rocket booster falling out of orbit, there is talk of a fantastic display, and a dazzling sky show.

Some metallic debris crashed through the ceiling of my house, grazed the edge of my bed, bolting me upright, and set fire to the clothes locker. Furious, I got XI on the phone and was prepared to give him a piece of my mind when I saw USA on the crumpled wing.

”Anything for the homeland,” I said, and went back to sleep.

1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

I should also mention that some of the problem could be the "cult of Elon Musk."

Few things are funnier than seeing the SNL libs go into conniptions at the thought of working with him.

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I agree with Cesar ... at night when I am curled up in front of my dog house, looking at the moonless clear night sky, I too find it offensive that I have to endure the sight of all that trash floating around out "there".

.... of course, this is just the opinion of someone who has hairs growing out the side of his nose, which obscures my vision.

 

..... perhaps Cesar has a similar problem.

 

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Debris history in particular years[edit]

  • As of 2009, 19,000 debris over 5 cm (2 in) were tracked.[by whom?][11]
  • As of July 2013, estimates of more than 170 million debris smaller than 1 cm (0.4 in), about 670,000 debris 1–10 cm, and approximately 29,000 larger pieces of debris are in orbit.[30]
  • As of July 2016, nearly 18,000 artificial objects are orbiting above Earth,[31] including 1,419 operational satellites.[32]
  • As of October 2019, nearly 20,000 artificial objects in orbit above the Earth,[8] including 2,218 operational satellites.[9]

 

Lost equipment[edit]

170px-Black_Knight_Satellite_%28cropped%
 
A drifting thermal blanket photographed in 1998 during STS-88.

Space debris includes a glove lost by astronaut Ed White on the first American space-walk (EVA), a camera lost by Michael Collins near Gemini 10, a thermal blanket lost during STS-88, garbage bags jettisoned by Soviet cosmonauts during Mir's 15-year life,[56] a wrench, and a toothbrush.[62] Sunita Williams of STS-116 lost a camera during an EVA. During an STS-120 EVA to reinforce a torn solar panel, a pair of pliers was lost, and in an STS-126 EVA, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper lost a briefcase-sized tool bag.[63]

 

On Earth[edit]

Cylindrical rocket fragment on sand, with men looking at it
 
Saudi officials inspect a crashed PAM-D module in January 2001.

Although most debris burns up in the atmosphere, larger debris objects can reach the ground intact. According to NASA, an average of one cataloged piece of debris has fallen back to Earth each day for the past 50 years. Despite their size, there has been no significant property damage from the debris.[124]

 

Notable examples of space junk falling to Earth and impacting human life include:

  • 1969: five sailors on a Japanese ship were injured when space debris from what was believed to be a Soviet spacecraft struck the deck of their boat.[125]
  • 1978 The Soviet reconnaissance satellite Kosmos 954 reentered the atmosphere over northwest Canada and scattered radioactive debris over northern Canada, some of the debris landing in the Great Slave Lake.[125]
  • 1979 portions of Skylab came down over Australia, and several pieces landed in the area around the Shire of Esperance, which fined NASA $400 for littering.[125]
  • 1987 a 7-foot strip of metal from the Soviet Kosmos 1890 rocket landed between two homes in Lakeport, California, causing no damage;
  • 1997: an Oklahoma woman, Lottie Williams, was hit, without injury in the shoulder by a 10 cm × 13 cm (3.9 in × 5.1 in) piece of blackened, woven metallic material confirmed as part of the propellant tank of a Delta II rocket which launched a U.S. Air Force satellite the year before.[126][127]
  • 2001: a Star 48 Payload Assist Module (PAM-D) rocket upper stage re-entered the atmosphere after a "catastrophic orbital decay",[128] crashing in the Saudi Arabian desert. It was identified as the upper-stage rocket for NAVSTAR 32, a GPS satellite launched in 1993.[citation needed]
  • 2002: 6 year old boy Wu Jie became the first person to be injured by direct impact from space debris. He suffered a fractured toe and a swelling on his forehead after a block of aluminum, 80 centimeters by 50 centimeters and weighing 10 kilograms from the outermost shell of the Resource Second Satellite struck him as he sat beneath a persimmon tree in the Shaanxi Province of China.[129]
  • 2003: Columbia disaster, large parts of the spacecraft reached the ground and entire equipment systems remained intact.[130] More than 83,000 pieces, along with the remains of the six astronauts, were recovered in an area from three to 10 miles around Hemphill in Sabine County, Texas.[131] More pieces were found in a line from west Texas to east Louisiana, with the westernmost piece found in Littlefield, TX and the easternmost found southwest of Mora, Louisiana.[132] Debris was found in Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. In a rare case of property damage, a foot-long metal bracket smashed through the roof of a dentist office.[133] NASA warned the public to avoid contact with the debris because of the possible presence of hazardous chemicals.[134] 15 years after the failure, people were still sending in pieces with the most recent, as of February 2018, found in the spring of 2017.[135]
  • 2007: airborne debris from a Russian spy satellite was seen by the pilot of a LAN Airlines Airbus A340 carrying 270 passengers whilst flying over the Pacific Ocean between Santiago and Auckland. The debris was reported within 9.3 kilometres (5 nmi) of the aircraft.[136]
  • 2020: The empty core stage of a Long March-5B rocket made an uncontrolled re-entry - the largest object to do so since the Soviet Union’s 39 ton Salyut-7 space station in 1991 - over Africa and the Atlantic ocean and a 12-meter-long pipe originating from the rocket crashed into the village of Mahounou in Cote d'Ivoire.[137]
  • 2021: a Falcon 9 second stage made an uncontrolled re-entry over Washington state on March 25, producing a widely seen "light show".[138] A composite-overwrapped pressure vessel survived the re-entry and landed on a farm field.[139]

 

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6 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

According to NASA, an average of one cataloged piece of debris has fallen back to Earth each day for the past 50 years.

That shouldn't be a surprise, but it is (to me anyway). That's over 18,000 pieces of debris. Of course, most of these either burn up or land on ocean water.

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5 hours ago, JW Insider said:

That shouldn't be a surprise, but it is (to me anyway). That's over 18,000 pieces of debris. Of course, most of these either burn up or land on ocean water.

I recently watched a documentary about it. It’s actually scary how much garbage/junk (debris) is circulating around the Earth.

http://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Videos/2019/02/Distribution_of_space_debris_in_orbit_around_Earth

1902_006_AR_EN.mp4

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