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China has lost control of its space station?

CAPSLOCKSTUCK

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theres the crux of it.

if you can clear debris you have the potential to "cleanup" anything you like.
Indeed, but nothing is really secret in orbit. Kind of like nuclear testing. If a country does something they shouldn't, everyone knows about it within a day.

That said, I'm pretty sure at least Russia and USA have contingency plans for the weaponization of orbit. I know I saw footage of a US built hunter-killer satellite that was obviously never deployed.
 
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people still wonder what this is up to

They've done like 4 missions with it in the past few years. The lastest one has yet to come down, and it's been like, over a year. Doesn't hold anyone though as of yet because only the larger, planned successor is manned. But still, I think one would rather take this up into space than that shitty CST-100 or whatever from Boeing that is basically an Apollo capsule. 7 people in an Apollo capsule, and it's supposed to be reused after re-entering 10 times.

Are you applying your ridiculous sardine economics from the 10-abreast 777-300ER to space travel now, Boeing? Boeing decrees that all space travellers are officially sardine-class fliers now. Less legroom = more profit.
 
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That looks like it is predominantly designed for reentry. The only way it makes sense to me is if it were used to recover stuff from space. For example, it may be cheaper to repair a satellite on Earth than in orbit. I could see that being launched to recover something in orbit, they service it, then relaunch it.

They could do that with the old shuttles though and, as far as I know, they never did. Are there some really, really expensive satellites up there that are so valuable it is cheaper to recover than replace?
 

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Below is a checklist of Space Shuttle-related (deployed; or retrieved, repaired, and re-deployed; or recovered) satellites, including launch dates and images of the satellites.


http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/dev/hillger/Shuttle-related.htm


EDIT

The short version

LDEF from NASA was more of a container than a satellite in the classic sense; its purpose was to expose a multitude of material samples to space for a long time; recovery was necessary to perform analysis of the samples and how they fared in space.

Both Palapa B-2 and Westar 6 were commercial communication satellites, that ended up in wrong, useless orbits through their boosters misfiring. They were recovered for refurbishing, resold to other parties and put in orbit again, where they serve just fine. (in case of Palapa insurance reasons might have played a role, but I'm not exactly clear as to, how).

EURECA was an European unmanned laboratory, many of its experiments involving material engineering (also, biology). It was recovered to collect the results (products) of the experiments and to be refurbished and resupplied with a new batch of experiments for relaunch (which never happened).

Space Flyer Unit was another laboratory, this time launched by Japan, but containing experiments valuable to NASA and American organizations and corporations. It contained some material engineering related experiments, and one biology-related (hatching an egg). Retrieval of products of the experiments was required.
 
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I should get back on topic. My apologies for going OT.

Article here says we shouldn't have anything to worry about even if the space station does re-enter the atmosphere, as it's more likely to burn up than anything (not intended to survive reentry).

View attachment 77026
Funny how the article makes no mention of the US Skylab actually hitting mainland Australia, it mentions it re entered over the Indian Ocean though.
 
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Funny how the article makes no mention of the US Skylab actually hitting mainland Australia, it mentions it re entered over the Indian Ocean though.
It probably hit what, a wallaby? No one cares.

...I'm just messing with you man. ;)
 

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Below is a checklist of Space Shuttle-related (deployed; or retrieved, repaired, and re-deployed; or recovered) satellites, including launch dates and images of the satellites.


http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/dev/hillger/Shuttle-related.htm


EDIT

The short version

LDEF from NASA was more of a container than a satellite in the classic sense; its purpose was to expose a multitude of material samples to space for a long time; recovery was necessary to perform analysis of the samples and how they fared in space.

Both Palapa B-2 and Westar 6 were commercial communication satellites, that ended up in wrong, useless orbits through their boosters misfiring. They were recovered for refurbishing, resold to other parties and put in orbit again, where they serve just fine. (in case of Palapa insurance reasons might have played a role, but I'm not exactly clear as to, how).

EURECA was an European unmanned laboratory, many of its experiments involving material engineering (also, biology). It was recovered to collect the results (products) of the experiments and to be refurbished and resupplied with a new batch of experiments for relaunch (which never happened).

Space Flyer Unit was another laboratory, this time launched by Japan, but containing experiments valuable to NASA and American organizations and corporations. It contained some material engineering related experiments, and one biology-related (hatching an egg). Retrieval of products of the experiments was required.
The market for a shuttle-like vehicle is bigger than I thought.
 
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Funny how the article makes no mention of the US Skylab actually hitting mainland Australia, it mentions it re entered over the Indian Ocean though.
It was inevitably going to produce a certain amount of debris that would fall to the ground, as with all such stations that meet their demise through re-entry. Mir was deorbited and its debris path was in the ocean, not too far from the east coast of Australia as well IIRC. The good thing is that stuff like this never actually hits anyone, it usually lands in the middle of nowhere and worst case scenario if it is unplanned it might just land in some random farmer's field. I think NASA was actually fined $400 by some Australian city/area council for littering Skylab pieces :roll:

If it stays in space, it's really quite dangerous as it can't be controlled/contacted, and if it disintegrates it becomes a threat to everything other craft that comes close to its orbit. Best to let it fall back to the earth and land in the middle of nowhere, maybe hitting a wild animal or two on the way. To be honest, maybe China's new space trash-throwing probe is capable of other uses like messing with other countries' satellites. But I personally don't think that's going to be a thing; secretly eavesdropping on others' satellites with secret satellites of your own (cough cough USA cough cough National Reconnaissance Office cough cough Prowler / Magnum SIGINT satellites cough cough) is already dubious and borderline acceptable and a highly secretive and classified affair, so I highly doubt that China would just go around with its new probe and give other satellites the good ol' one-two in the face (not to mention that it wouldn't accomplish anything either). For small pieces of space junk, this probe could prove its usefulness if used with caution and left in experienced hands.

China may be aggressive in its cyberwarfare department, but don't be fooled for a second that the US doesn't fund its own counterpart just as heavily. As with US cyberwarfare, half of all "surveillance" conducted from outer space by the U.S. from satellites like the Prowler is so secretive all the way from launch to decommissioning/deorbiting that the only info comes from amateur but greatly experienced observers who watch the skies on a 24/7 basis. The Prowler's job was literally to spy on USSR satellites, and had technology to mask its signature and make it hard to detect. It was only after the probe had long been decommissioned when it finally became observable to amateurs on the ground because its stealth technology was no longer effective after a long time of inactivity.
 

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China may be aggressive in its cyberwarfare department, but don't be fooled for a second that the US doesn't fund its own counterpart just as heavily.
Governments spying on other governments is normal. What is abnormal is China trying to steal private (business) secrets during peacetime.

Just off the top of my head, USA sabotaged Iran's centrifuges and infected Merkel's telecommunications.

USA still operates U-2S spy planes, has a growing fleet of spy drones (RQ-4, RQ-170), and has a fleet of spy satellites. RQ-180 and SR-72 are in development.
 

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China’s space agency has notified the UN that it expects Tiangong-1 to come down between October 2017 and April 2018.


upload_2017-10-13_21-0-41.jpeg



In recent weeks it has dipped into more dense reaches of Earth’s atmosphere and started falling faster.

“Now that [its] perigee is below 300km and it is in denser atmosphere, the rate of decay is getting higher,” said Jonathan McDowell, a renowned astrophysicist from Harvard University and a space industry enthusiast.

“I expect it will come down a few months from now – late 2017 or early 2018.”

Altitude of Tianong-1
Although much of the craft is expected to burn up in the atmosphere, McDowell says some parts might still weigh up to 100kg when they crash into the Earth’s surface.

The chance that anyone will be harmed by the debris is considered remote but China told the United Nations “Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space” in May that it would carefully monitor the craft’s descent and inform the United Nations when it begins its final plunge.

Predicting where it is going to come down would be impossible even in the days ahead of its landing, McDowell said.

“You really can’t steer these things,” he said in 2016. “Even a couple of days before it re-enters we probably won’t know better than six or seven hours, plus or minus, when it’s going to come down. Not knowing when it’s going to come down translates as not knowing where it’s going to come down.”

McDowell said a slight change in atmospheric conditions could nudge the landing site “from one continent to the next”.

There have been many uncontrolled re-entries of larger spacecraft and none have ever been reported to have caused injuries to people.

In 1991 the Soviet Union’s 20-tonne Salyut 7 space station crashed to Earth while still docked to another 20-tonne spacecraft called Cosmos 1686. They broke up over Argentina, scattering debris over the town of Capitán Bermúdez.

Nasa’s enormous 77-tonne Skylab space station came hurtling to Earth in an almost completely uncontrolled descent in 1979, with some large pieces landing outside Perth in Western Australia.
 

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I noticed it is a very small margin of error, as the ISS orbits at times as low as 330km. I'm sure it scrapes some atmosphere occasionally too at that point.
 

CAPSLOCKSTUCK

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The European Space Agency (ESA) predicts that the 8.5-tonne spacecraft will make an 'uncontrolled re-entry' to our planet between January and March 2018.

While a precise landing location remains unclear, ESA has provided the latitudes between which Tiangong-1 is likely to land – and countries at risk include Spain, Italy, Turkey, India and parts of the US.




ESA has announced that it is hosting an international campaign to monitor the re-entry of Tiangong-1 early next year.

The craft is now at about 300 kilometres (186 miles) altitude in an orbit that is expected to decay sometime between January and March 2018, when it will make an uncontrolled re-entry.

Holger Krag, head of ESA's Space Debris Office, said: 'Owing to the geometry of the station's orbit, we can already exclude the possibility that any fragments will fall over any spot further north than 43°N or further south than 43°S.





Much of the spacecraft is expected to burn up in the atmosphere upon re-entry

Owing to the station's mass and construction materials, there is a possibility that some portions of it will survive and reach the surface.

In the history of spaceflight, no casualties due to falling space debris have ever been confirmed.

ESA plans to conduct an international expert workshop on 28 February to focus on re-entry predictions, in the hopes of anticipating Tiangong's return to Earth.
 

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Eh, pretty sure NORAD has eyes on it around the clock...along with everything else in near Earth orbit. If it's going to potentially hit a populated area, they'll notify whomever needs to be notified.

70% of the planet's surface is water. Odds are it will harmlessly land in the Pacific Ocean.
 
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Remember when Skylab returned to earth? One thing that made it thru the burn was a two ton vault. Landed in the ocean. With Skylab they were able to control the trajectory a little as it reintered.
 
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Skylab wasn't adrift though where Tiangong-1 is. If China still had control over Tiangong-1, they would have made it break trajectory and fall into an ocean like Skylab.
 

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China's space station, Tiangong-1, does not pose a safety threat, a top Chinese spaceflight engineer said on Monday

Zhu Congpeng, a top engineer at the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, told the state-backed Science and Technology Daily newspaper that the space station was not out of control and did not pose a safety or environmental threat.
'We have been continuously monitoring Tiangong-1 and expect to allow it to fall within the first half of this year,' Zhu told the newspaper.
'It will burn up on entering the atmosphere and the remaining wreckage will fall into a designated area of the sea, without endangering the surface,' he said.
Re-entry was delayed in September 2017 in order to ensure that the wreckage would fall into an area of the South Pacific ocean where debris from Russian and US space stations had previously landed, the paper said.


TIANGONG-1


The vehicle is 10.4 metres long and has a main diameter of 3.35 metres. It has a liftoff mass of 8,506 kilograms and provides 15 cubic metres of pressurised volume
Tiangong-1 is China's first Space Station Module.
The vehicle was the nation's first step towards its ultimate goal of developing, building, and operating a large Space Station as a permanent human presence in Low Earth Orbit.
The module was launched on September 29, 2012.
Tiangong-1 features flight-proven components of Chinese Shenzhou Spacecraft as well as new technology.
The module consists of three sections: the aft service module, a transition section and the habitable orbital module.
The vehicle is 10.4 metres long and has a main diameter of 3.35 metres.
It has a liftoff mass of 8,506 kilograms and provides 15 cubic metres of pressurized volume.




1515417093887.png
 

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Zhu Congpeng, a top engineer at the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, told the state-backed Science and Technology Daily newspaper that the space station was not out of control and did not pose a safety or environmental threat.
FTFY:
While nervously glancing at the assault-rifle armed troops staged just outside his lab, Zhu Congpeng, a top engineer at the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, told the state-backed Science and Technology Daily newspaper that the space station was not out of control and did not pose a safety or environmental threat.

:D
 

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I noticed it is a very small margin of error, as the ISS orbits at times as low as 330km. I'm sure it scrapes some atmosphere occasionally too at that point.

Actually, pretty much everything in low earth orbit is still hitting atmosphere. The atmosphere extends to about 480km(300 Miles). The ISS has to do a boost burn every so often to adjust for the slowdown caused by the drag of the atmosphere.

 
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China's space station, Tiangong-1, does not pose a safety threat, a top Chinese spaceflight engineer said on Monday
According to SatFlare, best chances of coming down are in March...

http://www.satflare.com/track.asp?q=37820#TOP (really cool site).

The chinese space station Tiangong-1 (Heavenly Palace) has been declared out of control by chinese authorities and will re-enter the atmosphere in the coming months. Most parts of the orbiting lab are expected to burn up during falling, however some parts may reach the ground. The following figures report decay predictions and altitude (both perigee and apogee). According to the analysis of the orbital elements gathered during the last months, the re-enter may accour in February 2018 (20%), in March 2018 (60%) on in April 2018 (20%). Predictions may change as new orbital measurements will be available.
 
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So skimming over this topic,

Tian's gone? :fear:
 
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CAPSLOCKSTUCK

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It's looking like it WILL be, click on the link I posted above to Satflare

alternatively, read the thread and find the same link posted in mid November.
 
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