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Crash prediction for Long March 5B core stage narrows

Crash prediction
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List of the largest uncontrolled re-entries

This morning’s report by the Aerospace Corporation has narrowed the crash time and location for China’s out-of-control Long March 5B core stage to six orbits, about 8 hours, on November 4, 2022, with the prediction centered over a point in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

The company’s graphic to the right shows the orbital tracks. Note that this prediction puts many habitable locations under risk, including parts of the United States, Spain, Africa, and Australia.

Since the crash is now expected tomorrow, expect further updates later today.

The second graphic to the right has also been created by the Aerospace Corporation. It shows the top 20 largest man-made objects that have fallen out-of-control from orbit. Four of the top six were dropped on the world by China, all within the past two years. All but one of the others occurred prior to 1987, before the U.S. and Russia took positive action to prevent such things. The one exception, Phobos-Grunt, was an unexpected failure, its rocket putting it into an unstable orbit rather than sending it to Mars.

China, like the U.S. and Russia, has signed the Outer Space Treaty. That treaty requires each signatory to control the objects it puts in space, and makes it liable for any damage caused by such objects. The U.S. and Russia have both tried very hard to abide by that treaty. China however has thumbed its nose at it.

We must wonder what China will do if this core stage kills someone when it comes down tomorrow.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


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One comment

  • David Ross

    Салют-7 (#2) is an interesting border-case. The Soviets launched this in 1982 and evacuated it (of materiel) 1986 – both before the treaty as you note. Even absent a treaty, the USSR boosted it to 475 km which was supposed to last it until 1994, giving some time for “retrieval” whatever Wikipedia means by that. (Back to Earth, I assume, because it was space junk by then.)
    This, I think, would have put the dead station within treaty-parameters from 1987 on.
    But as with Skylab, our Sun had other ideas, and dragged it to its fiery doom 1991.

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