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On February 5, 2023 I will celebrate my 70th birthday. Yay! As I do every year during this birthday month, I run a campaign to raise money to support my work here at Behind The Black. I do not run ads. My only support comes from my readers, which leaves me utterly free to speak my mind openly about space, culture, and politics. Please consider supporting me in this work by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, in any one of the following ways:


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Did pieces of a Chinese upper stage land in middle of Mediterranean last week?

According to a tweet from a Twitter account that specializes in reporting on the Chinese space program, at least one piece of the upper stage from the Long March 2F rocket that launched the present Tiangon space station crew on the Shenzhou-14 crashed into the middle of Mediterranean Sea when the stage’s orbit decayed.

Most parts burned during the reentry while small debris splashed in Mediterranean Sea around E5.2° N39.1°

According to both this Twitter site as well as the Aerospace Corporation’s re-entry site, the event occurred on June 20, 2022. The latter site however says the stage burned up over the Atlantic, though it also indicated a one hour margin of error both before or after that time. If the stage thus stayed up just a bit longer, its orbit would have brought it down exactly where the former site states.

If this is so, it indicates that the Chinese either could not or made no effort to control the de-orbit, something that should be standard for any upper stage that has mass that could hit the ground.

Hat tip from reader Jay.

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.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

One comment

  • You know, at this point in the orbital launcher development game, I’m wondering if the Chinese ‘failure’ to control orbital debris, is. The Mediterranean is a smaller target than the Atlantic or Pacific. Then there are the Moon impactors with new configurations.

    The tech to control upper stage de-orbit has been around for a while, and the Chinese are as capable as anybody. As the Western world moves toward more efficient practices, the Chinese act like they don’t care. As Chinese space launch practice becomes more incongruent with General Accepted Aerospace Principles, you have to ask, why?

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