Hexbyte Glen Cove Chinese Mars rover beams back first photos thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Chinese Mars rover beams back first photos

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Solar panels against an alien landscape, ramps and rods pointing at the Martian horizon—China’s first probe on the Red Planet has beamed back its first “selfies” after its history-making landing last week.

The Zhurong rover was carried into the Martian atmosphere in a lander on Saturday, in the first ever successful probe landing by any country on its first Mars mission.

Zhurong, named after a mythical Chinese fire god, arrived a few months behind the United States’ latest probe to Mars—Perseverance—and has been celebrated in China as a milestone in its ascent to space superpower status.

The China National Space Administration on Wednesday published the images taken by cameras attached to the rover, which showed the obstacle-avoidance equipment and on the vehicle, as well as the texture of the Martian surface.

“People of the internet, the Mars images you’ve been longing for are here,” the said in a social media post containing the images.

The rover’s landing was a nail-biter for Chinese space engineers, with describing the process of using a parachute to slow descent and buffer legs as “the most challenging part of the mission”.

It is expected to spend around three months there taking photos and harvesting geographical data.

China has come a long way in its race to catch up with the United States and Russia, whose astronauts and cosmonauts have decades of experience in .

It successfully launched the first module of its new space station last month with hopes of having it crewed by 2022 and eventually sending humans to the Moon.



© 2021 AFP

Citation:
Chinese Mars rover beams back first photos (2021, May 19)
retrieved 20 May 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-05-chinese-mars-rover-photos.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —

Hexbyte Glen Cove Large Chinese rocket segment disintegrates over Indian Ocean thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Large Chinese rocket segment disintegrates over Indian Ocean

Hexbyte Glen Cove

A large segment of the Chinese Long March-5B rocket—seen here during launch on April 29, 2021—has re-entered Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrated over the Indian Ocean

A large segment of a Chinese rocket re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrated over the Indian Ocean on Sunday, China’s space agency said, following fevered speculation over where the 18-tonne object would come down.

Officials in Beijing had said there was little risk from the freefalling segment of the Long March-5B rocket, which had launched the first module of China’s new space station into Earth orbit on April 29.

But the US space agency NASA and some experts said China had behaved irresponsibly, as an uncontrolled re-entry of such a large object risked damage and casualties.

“After monitoring and analysis, at 10:24 (0224 GMT) on May 9, 2021, the last-stage wreckage of the Long March 5B Yao-2 launch vehicle has re-entered the atmosphere,” the China Manned Space Engineering Office said in a statement, providing coordinates for a point in the Indian Ocean near the Maldives.

It added that most of the segment disintegrated and was destroyed during descent.

The US military’s Space Command said the rocket “re-entered over the Arabian Peninsula at approximately 10:15 pm EDT on May 8 (0215 GMT Sunday)”.

“It is unknown if the debris impacted land or water.”

Monitoring service Space-Track, which uses US military data, said that the location in Saudi Arabia was where American systems last recorded it.

China has poured billions into its ambitious space programme

“Operators confirm that the rocket actually went into the Indian Ocean north of the Maldives,” it tweeted.

The segment’s descent matched expert predictions that any debris would have splashed down into the ocean, given that 70 percent of the planet is covered by water.

Because it was an uncontrolled descent, there was widespread public interest and speculation about where the debris would land.

American and European space authorities were among those tracking the rocket and trying to predict its re-entry.

Accusations of negligence

Objects generate immense amounts of heat and friction when they enter the atmosphere, which can cause them to burn up and disintegrate. But larger ones such as the Long March-5B may not be destroyed entirely.

Their wreckage can land on the surface of the planet and may cause damage and casualties, though that risk is low.

Last year, debris from another Chinese Long March rocket fell on villages in the Ivory Coast, causing structural damage but no injuries or deaths.

NASA administrator Bill Nelson said China had failed to ‘meet responsible standards regarding their space debris’

That, and the one that came down Sunday, are tied for the fourth-biggest objects in history to undergo an uncontrolled re-entry, according to data from Harvard-based astronomer Jonathan McDowell.

The uncertainty and risks of such a re-entry sparked accusations that Beijing had behaved irresponsibly.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin suggested last week that China had been negligent, and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson echoed that after the re-entry on Sunday.

“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.

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

Chinese state tabloid Global Times slammed US concerns as “shameless hype” in a Sunday editorial.

“It is seriously anti-intellectual to claim that China’s rocket debris is especially risky,” read the article.

“Washington will keep nitpicking and discrediting Beijing over the construction of (the) space station.”

Fact file on China’s propective space station, scheduled to be operational by 2022

China’s space ambitions

To avoid such scenarios, some experts have recommended a redesign of the Long March-5B rocket—which is not equipped for a controlled descent.

“An ocean reentry was always statistically the most likely,” McDowell tweeted.

“It appears China won its gamble (unless we get news of debris in the Maldives). But it was still reckless.”

Chinese authorities had downplayed the risk, however.

“The probability of causing harm to aviation activities or (on people and activities) on the ground is extremely low,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Friday.

Beijing has poured billions of dollars into space exploration to boost its global stature and technological might.

The launch of the first module of its space station—by the Long March rocket that came down Sunday—was a milestone in its ambitious plan to establish a permanent human presence in space.



© 2021 AFP

Citation:
Large Chinese rocket segment disintegrates over Indian Ocean (2021, May 9)
retrieved 10 May 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-05-large-chinese-rocket-segment-disintegrates.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —

Hexbyte Glen Cove Chinese rocket to tumble back to Earth in uncontrolled re-entry thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Chinese rocket to tumble back to Earth in uncontrolled re-entry

Hexbyte Glen Cove

A large segment of China’s Long March-5B rocket, pictured here during launch on April 29, is expected to make an uncontrolled reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere

A large segment of a Chinese rocket is expected to make an uncontrolled re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere over the weekend, but Beijing has downplayed fears of damage on the ground and said the risk is very low.

A Long March-5B rocket launched the first module of China’s new space station into Earth’s orbit on April 29.

Its 18-tonne main segment is now in freefall and experts have said it is difficult to say precisely where and when it will re-enter the atmosphere.

Russian space agency Roscosmos predicted the rocket will re-enter after 2330 GMT Saturday south of Indonesia over the Timor Sea.

The Pentagon gave a time of around 2300 GMT Saturday with a window of nine hours either side.

Chinese authorities have said most of the rocket components will likely be destroyed as it descends.

“The probability of causing harm… on the ground is extremely low,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters on Friday.

Although there has been fevered speculation over exactly where the rocket—or parts of it—will land, there is a good chance any debris that does not burn up will just splash down into the ocean, given that the planet is 70 percent water.

“We’re hopeful that it will land in a place where it won’t harm anyone,” said Pentagon spokesman Mike Howard.

Possible trajectories of the main stage of the Chinese rocket that is expected to make an uncontrolled re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere

Howard said the United States was tracking the rocket segment but “its exact entry point into the Earth’s atmosphere cannot be pinpointed until within hours of its re-entry”.

Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin earlier said the US military had no plans to shoot it down, and suggested that China had been negligent in letting it fall out of orbit.

“Given the size of the object, there will necessarily be big pieces left over,” said Florent Delefie, an astronomer at the Paris-PSL Observatory.

“The chances of debris landing on an inhabited zone are tiny, probably one in a million.”

Last year debris from another Long March rocket fell on villages in the Ivory Coast, causing structural damage but no injuries or deaths.

Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said that although there was no need to worry “too much”, the rocket’s design needed a re-think to stop such a scenario happening again.

“There is a real chance of damage to whatever it hits and the outside chance of a casualty,” he said.

“Having a ton of metal shards flying into the Earth at hundreds of kilometres per hour is not good practice, and China should redesign the Long-March 5B missions to avoid this.”



© 2021 AFP

Citation:
Chinese rocket to tumble back to Earth in uncontrolled re-entry (2021, May 8)
retrieved 9 May 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-05-chinese-rocket-earth-uncontrolled-re-entry.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —

Hexbyte Glen Cove US watching Chinese rocket's erratic re-entry: Pentagon thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove US watching Chinese rocket’s erratic re-entry: Pentagon

Hexbyte Glen Cove

A Long March 5B rocket carrying China’s Tianhe space station core module lifts off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center on April 29, 2021

The Pentagon said Wednesday it is following the trajectory of a Chinese rocket expected to make an uncontrolled entry into the atmosphere this weekend, with the risk of crashing down in an inhabited area.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is “aware and he knows the is tracking, literally tracking this debris,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.

China on Thursday launched the first of three elements for its , the CSS, which was powered by the Long March 5B rocket that is now being tracked.

The body of the rocket “is almost intact coming down,” Kirby said, adding that its re-entry is expected sometime around Saturday.

After its separation from the space station module, the rocket began to orbit the Earth in an irregular trajectory as it slowly lost altitude, making any predictions about where it will re-enter the atmosphere or fall back to the ground nearly impossible.

It could end up breaking apart upon entry, with only smaller debris bits falling to Earth—and even if the rocket falls from the sky mostly intact, there is a good chance it will just splash down into the ocean on a planet made up of 70 percent water.

But neither of those outcomes is certain, and there is a chance the rocket could crash land into an inhabited area or onto a ship.

Kirby said it is “too soon” to know whether any action, such as destroying the , can be taken if human-occupied regions are threatened.

“We’re tracking it. We’re following it as closely as we can,” he said. “It’s just a little too soon right now to know where it’s going to go or what, if anything, can be done about that.”

It is not the first time China has lost control of a space craft as it returns to Earth. The space laboratory Tiangong-1 disintegrated upon re-entry into the atmosphere in 2018, two years after it had stopped working, though Chinese authorities denied they had lost control of the ship.



© 2021 AFP

Citation:
US watching Chinese rocket’s erratic re-entry: Pentagon (2021, May 6)
retrieved 7 May 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-05-chinese-rocket-erratic-re-entry-pentagon.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —