Chinese Rocket Crashed Into Ocean – Environmental Impact

  • This Chinese rocket crash is the first crash of this century. The last one was of a Soviet rocket last century.
  • China launched the rocket on May 5, 2020.
  • US Air Force confirmed the crash.

China launched the Changzheng-5B on May 5 to test a new-generation lander. The rocket crashed on May 11.  The Changzheng-5B launch vehicle is an improved version of the Changzheng-5. It is China’s first heavy class space rocket (with a maximum payload of 25 tons). Changzheng-5B has four launch boosters with a diameter of 3.35 m each.

The fuel used is a non-toxic fuel based on liquid hydrogen, kerosene and liquid oxygen. Its length reaches 53.7 m, its diameter is about 5 m. The launch mass of the rocket is 849 tons, and the payload capacity when launched into low earth orbit is 22 tons. Here’s video of the rocket launch.

The rocket was orbiting the Earth in an elliptical orbit, and entered the atmosphere on May 11th.  This will be the largest artificial object that has made an uncontrolled fall to the planet in 29 years. The last fall was recorded last century of the 30-tonne Salyut-7 station.

The Soviet Salyut-7 Rocket.

The Salyut-7 orbital station was a modified Salyut-6 by Russian designers. Salyut-7 consisted of three main compartments: habitable, transition and working, It also contained an unpressurized aggregate compartment, which housed scientific equipment and life support systems.

The transition compartment was intended for the transfer of the crew from the Soyuz to the station and for the spacewalk. The entire station was controlled from the working compartment, where most of the scientific experiments were conducted, and where the astronauts cohabited.

The station was 14.4 meters long and had a maximum diameter of 4.15 meters. On the outside, three solar panels were attached to it, providing electricity for all the equipment. Thanks to the presence of two airlocks for docking and a refueling system for the propulsion system, Salyut-7 could actually stay in orbit indefinitely.

His stay in space was limited only by the service life of the ship’s main systems, which were designed for a minimum of 5 years of continuous operation. Nevertheless, in the case of the Salyut-7, the Soviets were able to salvage the main part of the station with a titanic effort and a unique mission to save it.

Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics stated that Pentagon’s infrared telescopes recorded the Changzheng-5B  rocket entering the atmosphere.

The tweet by the Harvard Astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell.

The Center for Astrophysics Harvard & Smithsonian is an astrophysics research institute jointly operated by the Harvard College Observatory and Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. McDowell is an astrophysicist working at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, which operates the Chandra X-ray Observatory spacecraft.

The US Air Force’s 18th space control squadron confirmed that the Changzheng-5B entered the dense atmosphere over the Atlantic.  The wreckage of the rocket fell into the ocean off the West coast of Africa.

Hence, it did pollute and perhaps destroy the Ocean habitat in the area. China does not care for the environment and is one of the worst global environmental offenders. China will continue to violate environmental agreements in an attempt to further its own agenda.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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