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Jim Hunt

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The Chinese large modular space station
« on: April 29, 2021, 09:42:17 AM »
According to China Xinhua News on Twitter:

Quote
China on Thursday sent into space the core module "Tianhe" of its space station, kicking off a series of key launch missions that aim to complete the construction of the station by the end of next year.



It seems impossible to embed a starting time, so head for ~52:00 to view the launch itself.

According to Wikipedia:

Quote
The Tiangong Space Station (Chinese: 天宫; pinyin: Tiāngōng; lit. 'Heavenly Palace') is a space station placed in Low Earth orbit between 340 and 450 km above the surface. The Chinese Space Station will be roughly one-fifth the mass of the International Space Station and about the size of the decommissioned Russian Mir space station.
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Sigmetnow

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Sigmetnow

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2021, 02:03:10 AM »
“I’ll just reiterate that uncontrolled re-entries of large rocket stages in 2021 is absolutely irresponsible behavior.”
— Brian Weeden


Huge rocket looks set for uncontrolled reentry following Chinese space station launch
Long March 5B core stage likely to reenter the Earth's atmosphere in the coming days. 
April 30, 2021
Quote
HELSINKI — China launched the first module for its space station into orbit late Wednesday, but the mission launcher also reached orbit and is slowly and unpredictably heading back to Earth.

The Long March 5B, a variant of China’s largest rocket, successfully launched the 22.5-metric-ton Tianhe module from Wenchang Thursday local time. Tianhe separated from the core stage of the launcher after 492 seconds of flight, directly entering its planned initial orbit.

Designed specifically to launch space station modules into low Earth orbit, the Long March 5B uniquely uses a core stage and four side boosters to place its payload directly into low Earth orbit. However this core stage is now also in orbit and is likely to make an uncontrolled reentry over the next days or week as growing interaction with the atmosphere drags it to Earth. If so, it will be one of the largest instances of uncontrolled reentry of a spacecraft and could potentially land on an inhabited area.

Most expendable rocket first stages do not reach orbital velocity and reenter the atmosphere and land in a pre-defined reentry zone. Some other larger, second stages perform deorbit burns to lower altitude to reduce time in orbit and lower chances of collisions with other spacecraft or to immediately reenter the atmosphere.

There had been speculation that the Long March 5B core would perform an active maneuver to deorbit itself, but that appears not to have happened. At a Wenchang press conference Thursday, Wang Jue, Commander-in-Chief of Long March 5B launch vehicle, stated (Chinese) that this second Long March 5B had seen improvements over the first launch, but a possible deorbit maneuver was not stated.

Ground based radars used by the U.S. military to track spacecraft and other objects in space have detected an object and catalogued it as the Long March 5B rocket body. Now designated 2021-035B, the roughly 30-meter-long, five-meter-wide Long March 5 core stage is in a 170 by 372-kilometer altitude orbit traveling at more than seven kilometers per second.

A possible amateur ground observation of the rocket core showing regular flashes suggests that it is tumbling and thus not under control.
...
Unpredictable reentry
Where and when the new Long March 5B stage will land is impossible to predict. The decay of its orbit will increase as atmospheric drag brings it down into more denser. The speed of this process depends on the size and density of the object and variables include atmospheric variations and fluctuations, which are themselves influenced by solar activity and other factors. The high speed of the rocket body means it orbits the Earth roughly every 90 minutes and so a change of just a few minutes in reentry time results in reentry point thousands of kilometers away.

The Long March 5B core stage’s orbital inclination of 41.5 degrees means the rocket body passes a little farther north than New York, Madrid and Beijing and as far south as southern Chile and Wellington, New Zealand, and could make its reentry at any point within this area. The most likely event will see any debris surviving the intense heat of reentry falling into the oceans or uninhabited areas, but the risk remains of damage to people or property.

Spaceflight observer Jonathan McDowell told SpaceNews that the previous Long March 5B launch saw the most massive uncontrolled reentry in decades and the fourth biggest ever. “The Long March 5B core stage is seven times more massive than the Falcon 9 second stage that caused a lot of press attention a few weeks ago when it reentered above Seattle and dumped a couple of pressure tanks on Washington state.”

McDowell said he hoped China would have enhanced the core stage to perform a controlled deorbit after separating from Tianhe. “I think by current standards it’s unacceptable to let it reenter uncontrolled,” McDowell said.

“Since 1990 nothing over 10 tons has been deliberately left in orbit to reenter uncontrolled.” The Long March 5B core stage, without its four side boosters, is thought to have a “dry mass”, or when it is empty of propellent, of about 21 metric tons in mass. ...
https://spacenews.com/huge-rocket-looks-set-for-uncontrolled-reentry-following-chinese-space-station-launch/
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Jim Hunt

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2021, 08:53:14 AM »
Uncontrolled re-entries of large rocket stages in 2021 is absolutely irresponsible behavior.

The New York Times is on the case:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/06/science/china-rocket-crash-long-march-5b.html

Quote
No, you are almost certainly not going to be hit by a 10-story, 23-ton piece of a rocket hurtling back to Earth.

That said, the chances are not zero. Part of China’s largest rocket, the Long March 5B, is tumbling out of control in orbit after launching a section of the country’s new space station last week. The rocket is expected to fall to Earth in what is called “an uncontrolled re-entry” sometime on Saturday or Sunday.

Whether it splashes harmlessly in the ocean or impacts land where people live, why China’s space program let this happen — again — remains unclear. And given China’s planned schedule of launches, more such uncontrolled rocket re-entries in the years to come are possible...

“I think it’s negligent of them,” said Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., who tracks the comings and goings of objects in space. “I think it’s irresponsible.”

The piece that will be dropping out of the sky somewhere is the core booster stage of the Long March 5B, which was designed to lift the big, heavy pieces of the space station. For most rockets, the lower stages usually drop back to Earth immediately after launch. Upper stages that reach orbit usually fire the engine again after releasing their payloads, guiding them toward re-entry in an unoccupied area like the middle of an ocean.

Over the past three decades, only China has lifted rocket stages this big to orbit and left them to fall somewhere at random, Dr. McDowell said.

For the Long March 5B booster, that could be anywhere between 41.5 degrees north latitude and 41.5 degrees south latitude. That means Chicago, located a fraction of a degree farther north, is safe, but major cities like New York could be hit by debris.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2021, 06:24:06 PM »
Quote
Space-Track @SpaceTrackOrg
Latest TIP (as of 2021-05-07 0456Z) for CZ-5B (Long March 5B) (48275 / 2021-035B) shows projected re-entry at 2021-05-08 23:13(UTC) +/- 540 minutes at latitude 38.1 longitude 62.5
NOTE: This is a huge, 18 hour window, and the time/location of re-entry will continue to vary wildly
https://twitter.com/spacetrackorg/status/1390544432932417536
5/7/21, 1:50 AM

Quote
Jonathan McDowell @planet4589
New Sp-Track prediction: between Saturday 1400 UTC and Sunday 0800 UTC. As has been pointed out to me, this brackets Elon's appearance on SNL, and the SNL studios in NYC are within the lat range. However my orbit calc says the rocket will be over S Pacific during the monologue.
https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1390549502084493314
5/7/21, 2:10 AM

New Aerospace Corp reentry predict for the Chinese rocket: between Sat 1700 UTC and Sun 1500 UTC. Space-Track predict: Sat 1400 UTC to Sun 0800 UTC.
https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1390673936078327818
5/7/21, 10:24 AM

Quote
Jonathan McDowell @planet4589
Today's Tianhe orbit height plot
https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1390683006365483008
5/7/21, 11:00 AM
⬇️ Plot below.

—-
Quote
(((Charles Fishman))) @cfishman:
@planet4589 JMcD—I'm a reporter w/a question about the Long March 5B falling back to Earth: Most stories say the rocket entered orbit 'by accident,' unintentionally.
Is it possible the orb dynamics are such that to get these cargoes into orbit, booster ended up in orbit, too?
 
Jonathan McDowell @planet4589:
@cfishman You are 100% correct. This was not an accident, it was poor design of the rocket. The fact that the massive core stage stays in orbit is how this rocket is designed, and that's the easy (but negligent) way to do it.
  —
Other big rocket designs go to significant trouble and expense to avoid leaving their core stages in orbit (for example making a restartable engine and spare fuel for the deorbit)
https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1389585705773510665
5/4/21, 10:20 AM

< Is the problem that their engine design can not be restarted or they just choose not too?
<< 'Cannot be restarted' covers a lot of ground.
The rocket is 'light it & fly it.' Restarting is a much more demanding design—controls, durability of engine parts, ability to control from the ground, fuel load for launch & restart.
'A firecracker can't be relaunched'…Like that.

Note: China plans to launch a supply ship to the CSS in May on a Long March 7 rocket... and to launch a Chinese crew to the station in June on a Long March 2F rocket — but these launchers are smaller than this Long March 5B which put the station’s core module into orbit.

The Chinese rocket falling to Earth is one of 11 in China's plan to build a space station
Two of the 11 launches involve the same type of rocket now in uncontrolled descent.
https://www.businessinsider.com/china-rocket-falling-earth-11-similar-space-station-2021-5
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Jim Hunt

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2021, 10:02:31 AM »
The latest core stage re-entry window predictions from Jonathan McDowell:

« Last Edit: May 08, 2021, 03:15:48 PM by Jim Hunt »
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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2021, 03:15:29 PM »
The very latest EUSST re-entry window.

A proviso from Jonathan:

Quote
A caveat here: the EU folks, while excellent, are relatively new to this. So we don't have a track record to say that we as outsiders should have confidence that this narrower window is accurate. Nevertheless, I'm going to use their prediction as a guide,

Plus some ground tracks:

https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1391017301424623618

At least North Cornwall looks safe for the moment:
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Sigmetnow

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2021, 04:08:28 PM »
⬇️ I’m adding his other tracks below.
 https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1391017301424623618
5/8/21, 9:09 AM
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gerontocrat

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2021, 06:26:17 PM »
Frequently updated at https://aerospace.org/reentries/cz-5b-rocket-body-id-48275

09 May 2021 03:30 UTC ± 4 hours

And what happens?

503 Service Temporarily Unavailable
« Last Edit: May 08, 2021, 06:57:22 PM by gerontocrat »
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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2021, 08:46:49 PM »
Back up now Gero, and currently showing an identical image to your capture
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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2021, 08:53:53 PM »
The below figure shows the ground track for the re-entry window. The current window of 2021-05-09 02:32 UTC ±139 minutes will keep narrowing down and discarding some of the ground track passes.



https://www.eusst.eu/newsroom/eu-sst-monitors-reentry-cz5brb/
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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2021, 08:56:45 PM »
Back up now Gero, and currently showing an identical image to your capture
so much for frequently updated
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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2021, 10:41:33 PM »
so much for frequently updated

And now the web site link redirects to their Twitter feed
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gerontocrat

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2021, 11:09:36 PM »
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2021, 11:16:00 PM »
More interesting than watching the carbon clock

This doesn't look like the North Atlantic to me!
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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2021, 11:22:15 PM »
More interesting than watching the carbon clock

This doesn't look like the North Atlantic to me!
Mapshot shows you where it is now. You can turn the globe around

Damn - already over W Africa
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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2021, 12:59:11 AM »
Quote
Space-Track @SpaceTrackOrg‬⁩
Latest TIP (as of 2021-05-08 2016Z) for CZ-5B (#LongMarch5B) (48275 / 2021-035B) shows projected re-entry at 2021-05-09 0204(UTC) +/- 60 minutes at latitude 41.6, longitude 350.7 (North Atlantic)
NOTE: Getting closer to re-entry, but still not a precise time or location.
https://twitter.com/spacetrackorg/status/1391128833877626880
5/8/21, 4:32 PM
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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2021, 02:09:28 AM »
https://mobile.twitter.com/SpaceTrackOrg

Latest TIP (as of 2021-05-09 0000Z) for CZ-5B (#LongMarch5B) (48275 / 2021-035B) shows projected re-entry at 2021-05-09 0211(UTC) +/- 60 minutes at latitude 35.9, longitude 24.4 (Mediterranean Basin - between Greece and Crete)
« Last Edit: May 09, 2021, 02:17:51 AM by vox_mundi »
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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2021, 05:16:17 AM »
Jonathan McDowell @planet4589‬⁩
So still waiting for Space Force confirmation, but indications are (with low to moderate confidence) the rocket probably came down somewhere over the Indian Ocean.
https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1391228708997017601
5/8/21, 11:09 PM
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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2021, 06:17:41 AM »

 CosmoSapiens (whoever they are) says it is now south of Australia mainland (northern Tasmania) an entire trip around the Earth later (then claims it came to Earth near Maldives an hour ago).  It has been interesting watching its altitude go from a low of ~145 km and a high of ~183 km, with the perigee over the Indian Ocean - going up right now.
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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2021, 06:21:27 AM »
Washington Post says it landed near Maldives.  I will tend not to believe them ...
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/05/08/china-rocket-landing/
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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2021, 06:48:36 AM »
Space-Track @SpaceTrackOrg

@18SPCS  confirms that CZ-5B (#LongMarch5B) (48275 / 2021-035B) reentered atmosphere 9 May at 0214Z and fell into the Indian ocean north of the Maldives at lat 22.2, long 50.0.  That's all we have on this re-entry.  Good night!

-----------------------------------

U.S. Space Command @US_SpaceCom

#USSPACECOM can confirm Chinese #LongMarch5B re-entered over the Arabian Peninsula at approximately 10:15 pm EDT on May 8. It is unknown if the debris impacted land or water.

https://mobile.twitter.com/US_SpaceCom/status/1391242693355835403

“After monitoring and analysis, at 10:24 (02:24 GMT) on May 9, 2021, the last-stage wreckage of the Long March 5B Yao-2 launch vehicle has reentered the atmosphere,” the China Manned Space Engineering Office said in a statement.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2021, 06:56:23 AM by vox_mundi »
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Jim Hunt

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2021, 09:03:05 AM »
Mapshot shows you where it is now. You can turn the globe around

My point was that Mapshot seemed to be predicting splashdown in the Indian Ocean, as opposed to all the others who largely favoured the North Atlantic.

With the benefit of hindsight it seems mapshot were almost spot on. Video from Haifa, Israel:

https://twitter.com/CYA90930064/status/1391221407053459459

The best guess at the moment seems to be that the Long March ended in the ocean somewhere near the Maldives. According to Xinhua News:

Quote
The debris of the last stage of the Long March-5B Y2 carrier rocket reentered the atmosphere at 10:24 a.m. on Sunday (Beijing Time), the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) said.

The vast majority of the device burned up during the reentry, and the rest of the debris fell into a sea area with the center at 2.65 degrees north latitude and 72.47 degrees east longitude, said the CMSA.

Map from Jonathan McDowell:

https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1391229692582240257


« Last Edit: May 09, 2021, 09:16:17 AM by Jim Hunt »
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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2021, 09:30:39 AM »
According to the Times of Addu:

Quote
Malé, Maldives – Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) is now investigating the crash landing of rocket debris in the Maldives territory.

MNDF states that they received information of rocket parts crashing in the Maldives territorial waters and the MNDF Central Area Coast Guard Squadron is currently investigating the matter.

Apparently the umpteenth planetary media outlet using Jonathan's image without attribution!
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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2021, 10:21:14 AM »
Has anybody seen anything? Here in Bavaria there was a row of stars wandering across the night sky, ca. 9pm GMT.
Google image search on my avatar image gives "wood". In fact it is the lower part of David Hilbert's tombstone.

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2021, 10:30:16 AM »
A statement from NASA:

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-administrator-statement-on-chinese-rocket-debris

Quote
NASA Administrator Sen. Bill Nelson released the following statement Saturday regarding debris from the Chinese Long March 5B rocket:

“Spacefaring nations must minimize the risks to people and property on Earth of re-entries of space objects and maximize transparency regarding those operations.

“It is clear that China is failing to meet responsible standards regarding their space debris.

“It is critical that China and all spacefaring nations and commercial entities act responsibly and transparently in space to ensure the safety, stability, security, and long-term sustainability of outer space activities.”
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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2021, 05:26:55 PM »
Has anybody seen anything? Here in Bavaria there was a row of stars wandering across the night sky, ca. 9pm GMT.


 most likely a bunch of fresh satellites .. seen several strings of them lately as they slowly transit to their 'permanent' positions .. b.c.
2007 + 5 = 2012 + 4 = 2016 + 3 = 2019 + 2 = 2021 + 1 .. you gotta laugh .. :)

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #28 on: May 09, 2021, 05:41:08 PM »
Has anybody seen anything? Here in Bavaria there was a row of stars wandering across the night sky, ca. 9pm GMT.


 most likely a bunch of fresh satellites .. seen several strings of them lately as they slowly transit to their 'permanent' positions .. b.c.

 or perhaps Eta Aquariids shower ?

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #29 on: May 09, 2021, 05:56:53 PM »
Has anybody seen anything? Here in Bavaria there was a row of stars wandering across the night sky, ca. 9pm GMT.


 most likely a bunch of fresh satellites .. seen several strings of them lately as they slowly transit to their 'permanent' positions .. b.c.

 or perhaps Eta Aquariids shower ?
China plans 10 more launches to carry additional parts of the space station into orbit.
Will the booster go into orbit very much like this one did?

If so, and let us assume
- the orbit on similar pathways i.e. +/- 41 degrees latitude,
- the place of landing randomly along those orbits,

Then the number of times random chance results in landing on land depends on the percentages of land to ocean.
i.e. if 20% land, 80% ocean, the chances are for 2 landings on land.

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #30 on: May 09, 2021, 08:31:03 PM »
Has anybody seen anything? Here in Bavaria there was a row of stars wandering across the night sky, ca. 9pm GMT.


 most likely a bunch of fresh satellites .. seen several strings of them lately as they slowly transit to their 'permanent' positions .. b.c.

 or perhaps Eta Aquariids shower ?
For such a shower (methinks) they were too slow, too regular, and had no tails.
It was a neat straight line, roughly equally spaced, of about 20 "stars" moving from west to east. 2 or 3 were a bit out of line.
(Haven't watched the whole thing because I found my girlfriend's excitement a bit too embarrassing...)
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Sigmetnow

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #31 on: May 10, 2021, 01:49:27 AM »
Quote
China plans 10 more launches to carry additional parts of the space station into orbit.
...
Then the number of times random chance results in landing on land depends on the percentages of land to ocean. ...

But all except two of these launches will use smaller rockets than the Long March 5B, so the likelihood of significant mass surviving reentry is less.

The Chinese rocket falling to Earth is one of 11 in China's plan to build a space station.
https://www.businessinsider.com/china-rocket-falling-earth-11-similar-space-station-2021-5
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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #32 on: May 10, 2021, 09:09:02 AM »
A new snippet of information from Jonathan McDowell:

https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1391621688161341441

Quote
During launch of the CZ-5B/Tianhe, about 6 minutes after Tianhe and the CZ-5B separated they both came close to the ISS - under 300 km, which given uncertainties in trajectory is a tad alarming.

To pass SO close to ISS is really unlikely, requiring fine timing, and does raise the possibility it was done deliberately as some kind of gesture. I gather the ISS partners were NOT warned it would do this.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #33 on: May 10, 2021, 02:45:52 PM »
More of the discussion:

—- Close pass to ISS on launch
“Political gesture”?  Or conspiracy theory?
During launch, the CSS and its rocket came within 300 km of the ISS.
Quote
Jonathan McDowell @planet4589
I mention this in the latest JSR but I don't think I talked about it on twitter. During launch of the CZ-5B/Tianhe, about 6 minutes after Tianhe and the CZ-5B separated they both came close to the ISS - under 300 km, which given uncertainties in trajectory is a tad alarming
[Orbit illustrations at the link below.]
   —
To pass SO close to ISS is really unlikely, requiring fine timing, and does raise the possibility it was done deliberately as some kind of gesture. I gather the ISS partners were NOT warned it would do this.
  —
I would welcome calculations by others using the relevant TLEs to confirm my conclusions here - my code is not the most accurate for this sort of thing.

< I wonder if this is just a coincidence. CASC really like to come up with the launch date months ahead of the actual launch and stick with the plan... For this launch, we knew that they are targeting Apr 29 back in February, and we got 11:18(LT) about 3 weeks before the launch.
JM: Yeah. And at 11:18 (instead of the actual 11:23) there would have been no problem. So what caused the delay.
It just seems a very unlikely coincidence but I am open to the possibility
< The originally planned time was around 11:22:30. They hold the launch ~2mins for like 30s due to a GSE problem. As I remembered it's about a sensor problem on one of the connectors for the refuelling pipe.

< Exercise:
Take the full catalog of objects in orbit, add Mike McCants' catalog of secret satellites, calculate how many objects are within 300 km of the ISS at any given time.
JM:
I would guess of order 1 to 3. But the number of space stations within 300 km is low. And the frequency of launches which approach the ISS at the time of launch is low.
https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1391621688161341441
5/10/21, 1:10 AM

Quote
Christian Davenport @wapodavenport‬⁩
The Chinese rocket and space station module apparently came within less than 200 miles of the International Space Station. That's super close and could be interpreted as a warning shot across the bow.
https://twitter.com/wapodavenport/status/1391735481805778947
5/10/21, 8:42 AM

Jonathan McDowell ⁦‪@planet4589‬⁩
Just to clarify, it's *possible* that this ISS/Tianhe close encounter was one of those unlikely coincidences. I'm open to that possibility, but they should still have spotted the closeness and warned NASA (or better, called a collision avoidance hold in the count)
5/10/21, 2:10 AM
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Sigmetnow

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #34 on: May 11, 2021, 08:23:36 PM »
Reactions and Responses

China's huge rocket that fell from space highlights debris risk of uncontrolled reentries
Quote
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, just days into his leadership of the agency, released a statement Saturday (May 8) after the U.S. Space Command's 18th Space Control Squadron confirmed the Chinese Long March 5B core stage re-entered the atmosphere at 10:14 p.m. EDT (0214 GMT) and fell into the Indian Ocean north of the Maldives.

"Spacefaring nations must minimize the risks to people and property on Earth of re-entries of space objects and maximize transparency regarding those operations," Nelson said in a statement posted on NASA's website. "It is clear that China is failing to meet responsible standards regarding their space debris."

The China Manned Engineering Office confirmed what the U.S. military posted, according to Al-Jazeera. "The last-stage wreckage of the Long March 5B Yao-2 launch vehicle has reentered the atmosphere" and most pieces had burned up, the statement noted. Chinese officials said earlier this week that the risk posed to Earth's population by the 23-ton (21-metric ton) core stage was low. ...
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/chinas-huge-rocket-that-fell-from-space-highlights-debris-risk-of-uncontrolled-reentries/ar-BB1gzKNv

—-
Quote
Jonathan McDowell @planet4589
A good point from an insider:

 It could have been a threat due to newness of the rocket. All rockets release small debris when deploying payloads. Most are too small to track. IF one had the velocity upon deployment, it could eject towards and possibly hit the ISS.
 https://twitter.com/skitt0608/status/1391753287049777152

 It’s the first thing we look for when ANY launch occurs: where are the humans and are they safe. This was one case we couldn’t give an immediate answer.
https://twitter.com/skitt0608/status/1391733705136168966
5/10/21, 8:35 AM

CBS This Morning, Video segment
https://twitter.com/cbsthismorning/status/1391748514640715776
—-
Quote
Jonathan McDowell @planet4589
What I'm rather hoping is my final CZ-5B media interview is coming up. FInal score: 76 interviews (28 TV, 10 radio, 20 phone, 18 email).
https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1391811219238133766
5/10/21, 1:43 PM
—-
Twitter thread by Andrew Jones, from https://twitter.com/aj_fi/status/1391744468429074434
Quote
The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), the designer of the Long March 5B, published an explainer on types of rocket debris. Without directly mentioning the 5B, it says don't worry, things returning from orbit burn up, nothing slams into Earth like "scifi movies"

The piece also describes the very long odds of anyone being hurt, including comparisons to extremely unlikely events of being hit by a meteorite. A Global Times piece today goes further, citing Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying, saying uncontrolled reentries are common practice internationally. "Hua also criticized some US media and certain individuals for their double-standards in dealing with the issue," citing the SpaceX 2nd impact, and the contrast in media coverage. globaltimes.cn/page/202105/12…

An earlier GT report said the US was "jealous" of Chinese progress, but that "so-called 'uncontrolled' trajectory refers to the loss of propulsion, but in no way means that China has lost track of its flight path and real-time location." globaltimes.cn/page/202105/12…

Also: "the [US and other ]prediction of its flight trajectory and reentry performance parameters can be used as an exercise to predict the reentry parameters of a real missile warhead. It is a reference for their future precise anti-missile operations,"

So, takeaways seem to be:
1) no distinction b/w 1st & 2nd stages
2) You haven't lost control if you can still track it (?)
3) China is the victim here
4) This will happen again for CZ-5B Y3 and Y4 in 2022
5) Maybe newspapers will have cutout @planet4589 masks.
https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1391744468429074434.html
« Last Edit: May 11, 2021, 08:31:59 PM by Sigmetnow »
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crandles

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #36 on: May 15, 2021, 01:55:49 PM »
Not strictly "space station" news of course, but according to China Xinhua News on Twitter once again:

https://twitter.com/XHNews/status/1393416278384123907

Quote
Tianwen-1, China's first Mars rover, successfully touched down on the Red Planet Saturday. Behind this astounding feat is Xi Jinping's space dream dating back to the 1970s.

See the ~5 minute video on Twitter for a visualisation of "Xi's space dream".
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Sigmetnow

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #37 on: May 19, 2021, 04:42:05 PM »
China is set to launch the #Tianzhou2 cargo supply mission to their new Space Station today at 17:35 UTC / 13:35 EDT on a ChangZheng7 rocket from Wenchang.

With the smaller CZ-7 rocket being used for Tianzhou 2’s launch, only the smaller second stage and payload will reach orbit.

China prepares first cargo launch to new station with Tianzhou 2
May 19, 2021
Quote
China will step up preparations for the arrival of a first crew aboard their new space station with the launch of the Tianzhou 2 cargo spacecraft with hardware and provisions to support astronauts on an initial three-month stay aboard the outpost. Liftoff is expected at 17:35:30 UTC on Wednesday, 19 May — which is 01:35:30 China Standard Time on Thursday, 20 May — aboard a Chang Zheng 7 rocket.

Tianzhou 2 marks the second flight of the uncrewed Tianzhou spacecraft, which China will use to resupply its space station, and the first such mission in support of a crew.
...
The Tianzhou spacecraft is similar in function to the Progress spacecraft used by Russia (and formerly the Soviet Union) to resupply the last two Salyut stations, Mir, and the International Space Station. Cargo spacecraft play a vital role for long-duration space station expeditions by allowing provisions, replacement parts, and new scientific equipment and/or experiments to be delivered to the crew periodically. Other spacecraft fulfilling this role for the International Space Station include the US Cygnus and Cargo Dragon and the Japanese Kounotori (HTV) crafts — and formerly the European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV).

Like all of these spacecraft except for the Cargo Dragon, Tianzhou is designed for a one-way trip to the Chinese space station. At the end of its mission, it will be deorbited and burn up as it reenters the Earth’s atmosphere.

Tianzhou 2’s launch will be the first mission to dock with China’s new space station, following the successful launch of the Tianhe core module last month. The arrival of Tianzhou 2 and the supplies it is bearing will be the last major milestone before the first crewed launch to the station, currently slated for 10 June with the Shenzhou 12 mission. ...
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2021/05/tianzhou-2-launch/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #38 on: May 19, 2021, 09:18:14 PM »
Chris G - NSF
#China has scrubbed today's launch of the #Tianzhou2 mission on the #ChangZheng7 -- the 1st resupply flight to their newly-launched #SpaceStation.
...
https://twitter.com/chrisg_nsf/status/1395066994358210563
5/19/21, 1:21 PM


NSF Forum
This is the Chinese Space Station thread, started by Phillip Clark
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26876.0
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Sigmetnow

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #39 on: June 04, 2021, 05:14:24 PM »
May 29, 2021

In brief:
Chinese station supply mission launches, docks.
Quote
China's Tianzhou-2 cargo spacecraft docked with the Tianhe space station module in low Earth orbit Saturday, eight hours after launching from Wenchang spaceport. Tianzhou-2 is tasked with delivering propellant and supplies ahead of a first crewed mission to Tianhe in June, SpaceNews reports. The launch occurred on a Long March 7 rocket from the coastal Wenchang spaceport.

Food and suits ... Tianzhou-2 holds 4.69 tons of cargo in a pressurized segment, including food for the Shenzhou-12 crew for three months. It also carries extravehicular activity space suits and other supplies. Tianzhou-2 is the second launch of 11 missions planned for the construction phase of the three-module Chinese space station across 2021 and 2022.
https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/06/rocket-report-spacex-breaks-streak-of-used-launches-faa-clears-electron/

In depth:
China launches Tianzhou 2, first cargo mission to new space station
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2021/05/tianzhou-2-launch/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #40 on: June 12, 2021, 07:45:00 PM »
China set to launch first astronauts to space station with Shenzhou-12
June 10, 2021
Quote
China rolled out a Long March 2F rocket Wednesday in preparation to send the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and three astronauts to an orbiting space station module.

The rocket will send Shenzhou-12 and three astronauts to the Tianhe core module for China’s space station which launched April 28 Eastern. 

Authorities have yet to reveal the planned launch date nor the identity of the primary and backup crews for the mission. Shenzhou-12 was expected to launch around June 10 Beijing time but a week-long delay to the launch of the Tianzhou-2 cargo mission likely pushed back the date by a similar length of time.

The Shenzhou-12 mission will involve a series of technical verification tasks related to the performance and function of the Tianhe core module. It will include extravehicular activities using EVA suits delivered by Tianzhou-2, and verification of a regenerative life support system.

Shenzhou-12 will also set a record for Chinese human spaceflight mission duration. The mission is expected to remain docked with Tianhe until September, meaning the roughly three-month mission will far exceed the 33-day record set by Shenzhou-11 in 2016.
https://spacenews.com/china-set-to-launch-first-astronauts-to-space-station-with-shenzhou-12/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #41 on: June 17, 2021, 04:01:57 AM »
Launch!  Successful orbit achieved.
Three taikonauts are on their way to the China Space Station — this is the first crewed Chinese flight in five years.
⬇️ Screencap below. The Russian heritage of their spacecraft is apparent. (See article for more.)

Shenzhou-12 and three crew members preparing for launch to new Chinese space station
written by Justin Davenport. June 16, 2021
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2021/06/shenzhou-12-new-chinese-station/

Live: Special coverage on Shenzhou-12 crewed mission to Chinese Space Station
➡️https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cburnLophMs
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Sigmetnow

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #42 on: June 17, 2021, 03:09:54 PM »
China space station: Shenzhou-12 delivers first crew to Tianhe module
Quote
The crew successfully docked with the space station just over seven hours after the launch.

"We need to set up our new home in space and test a series of new technologies. So, the mission is tough and challenging. I believe with the three of us working closely together, doing thorough and accurate operations, we can overcome our challenges. We have the confidence to complete the mission." …
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-57504052

CHINA’S HUMAN SPACEFLIGHT PROGRAM: BACKGROUND AND LIST OF CREWED AND AUTOMATED LAUNCHES
 Fact Sheet Updated June 16, 2021
https://spacepolicyonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Chinese-HSF-Launches-Automated-and-Crewed-June-16-2021.pdf
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Sigmetnow

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #43 on: June 18, 2021, 03:13:16 AM »
—- Video from the CSS
Quote
China Xinhua News
For the first time the Chinese have entered their own space station in orbit.
6/17/21 https://twitter.com/xhnews/status/1405524521986060296
2 min vid. : our first look inside the station.

Quote
Elon Musk
Congratulations, this is a great achievement!
6/17/21. https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1405589434385321985

Quote
Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator
Congratulations to China on the successful launch of crew to their space station! I look forward to the scientific discoveries to come.
6/17/21. https://twitter.com/senbillnelson/status/1405484742271700992
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Jim Hunt

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #44 on: June 18, 2021, 03:25:27 PM »
our first look inside the station.

Also via CGTN on YouTube:

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Sigmetnow

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #45 on: June 20, 2021, 10:31:15 PM »
Quote
Some booster wreckage downrange of Jiuquan after the launch of Shenzhou-12, with hazardous orange nitrogen tetroxide oxidiser gas escaping weibo.com/2343014623/KkD…
6/18/21, 4:22 AM. ➡️ https://twitter.com/aj_fi/status/1405803156924243973
10 sec. video:  Closeup of extremely poisonous wreckage. :o

Quote
Scott Manley
Worth noting that for china’s space station the modules and the Tianzhou cargo spacecraft are launched using modern cryogenically [fueled] rockets. Shenzhou uses older [hypergolic] booster. And probably stays over land for safer aborts.
https://twitter.com/djsnm/status/1405915092072366086
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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #46 on: June 24, 2021, 08:26:27 PM »
China space station: Astronauts record first 24 hours in space
Quote
… According to a news clip that aired on China's national broadcaster Central China Television, the astronauts start the day by communicating with ground control at 08:00 and do not finish work until about 21:00, when they give an update of their progress.

Every week, the men will get a day off so as to maintain "good spirits", said the broadcaster. …
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-57577880
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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #47 on: July 04, 2021, 09:01:51 PM »
—- China Space Station EVA
Quote
Chinese state media appear to be beginning coverage of a spacewalk underway outside the Tianhe space station module. This is the 2nd ever Chinese EVA, and the 1st in support of the new space station. …
  —
So far, Chinese "coverage" has been talking heads and b-roll of preparations on board, but no live views of the spacewalk that is already in progress.
  —
A brief view on CCTV of what appears to be a still from one of the spacewalkers helmet cameras, where you can see a second taikonaut attached to the module's robotic arm.
< It’s actually Sandra Bullock
<< ;D ;D
7/3/21, 10:29 PM. https://twitter.com/tgmetsfan98/status/1411512427263541248
 
Taikonauts complete second Chinese spacewalk, first in support of Space Station construction
written by Tobias Corbett. July 4, 2021
Upon exiting the airlock, Liu is believed to have said “哇,外面好美啊,” translated to “Wow, it’s too beautiful outside!”
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2021/07/taikonauts-second-spacewalk-first-station-construction/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #48 on: August 21, 2021, 01:52:13 AM »
Chinese Space Station taikonauts conduct second spacewalk
August 20, 2021
Quote
The crew of Shenzhou-12 has conducted the second spacewalk of the mission, and the second spacewalk of the new Chinese Space Station’s lifetime. The extravehicular activity (EVA) comes two months into their planned 90-day mission in low Earth orbit.

Mission commander Nie Haisheng and first operator Liu Boming exited the Tianhe core module at 00:38 UTC on Friday, August 20. The goals of the EVA included the installation of a new panoramic camera (known as Panoramic Camera D) as well as a backup thermal control pump. Second operator Tang Hongbo stayed inside the station to support the two spacewalkers, similar to how crew onboard the International Space Station support American and Russian spacewalks.

Haisheng and Boming exited the depressurized docking node of the Tianhe module, which is being used as an EVA airlock until the Wentian lab module, equipped with its own airlock for crewmembers, arrives in the spring of 2022. Panoramic Camera D was successfully installed, and the station was prepared for future EVAs and module installations. To that end, the taikonauts finished installing additional foot restraints onto the station as well as a work platform on the station’s robotic arm. …
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2021/08/chinese-space-station-second-spacewalk/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: The Chinese large modular space station
« Reply #49 on: September 02, 2021, 05:03:57 PM »
—- New images from inside the CSS
Quote
First clear images of one of the Chinese Tianhe sleeping birth windows, in this case belonging to Hongbo. There are three on the station. No other windows have been identified so far. Thanks @AJ_FI. Final image is from another of the births that straddles the main solar array.
8/31/21, 8:25 AM. https://twitter.com/shuttlealmanac/status/
⬇️ Images below; click to embiggen. More info in the replies.

——
Videos (in Chinese) from a live CSS presentation to an audience of kids in a huge auditorium :o
Quote
CNSA Watcher
Astronaut Liu Boming in #Tiangong space station show around their personal areas, kitchen and bedrooms.
Full: youtu.be/Thcq8obvCGE
9/1/21, 2:02 PM. ➡️ https://twitter.com/cnsawatcher/status/1433128083968643075

How do you drink tea or coffee? With straw? Or with… chopsticks?🤔 Here is how Astronaut Tang Hongbo challenges it in space. youtu.be/PbwMiJrHZgg
9/1/21 ➡️ https://twitter.com/cnsawatcher/status/1433126439977635841
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