Technology

Why do Chinese CZ-5B rockets fall to Earth uncontrollably

Three Chinese Long March 5B rockets have fallen to Earth after an uncontrolled re-entry into the atmosphere since being used by China. One fell on the west coast of Africa, the other in the Indian Ocean and the last in Borneo (Asia). The central stage of room 5B will fall today and it is not yet known where it will fall, although Aerospace Corporation estimates pointed out that Spain was one of the possible uncontrolled landing places.



These figures are not very favorable for China, as there are many experts who criticize the risk of death for people living on land, sea and in the air. Researchers in an article published in the scientific journal Nature warn of the problem:

For a long time, these risks have been thought to be negligible, but the number of rocket bodies left in orbit is increasing, while rocket bodies from previous launches are re-entering the atmosphere due to gas ingress.

According to the study’s scientists, the uncontrolled re-entry of Long March 5b is unnecessary, as we have recent technology and design improvements that could prevent it. However, they state that no action is taken because “states and launch companies”. They are reluctant to take on the high costs involved.

“National governments whose populations are at risk should demand that the major space-capable states work together to to order the controlled re-entry of rockets, producing significant consequences for non-compliance and, therefore, eliminate the risks for all”, they consider in the study.


The space plane was launched in August 2022 from a Long March 2F rocket.

Why does the Long March 5B enter uncontrollably?

Researchers point out that different rockets have different launch sequences. If the main stage of the rocket is orbital, They can be dropped into orbit, as in the case of the Long March 5B, or can be returned to the environment in a controlled manner.

If it is dropped into orbit and it is in the low field, the experts elaborate that The gas resistance is responsible for gradually reducing its latitude.: “Eventually, this causes it to re-enter the atmosphere in an uncontrolled manner, which can happen at any point in its flight path.”

this uncontrolled reentry Engine starting can be avoided, which would allow the space object to be directed to a remote area of ​​the ocean or recovery zone. “Governments have clearly chosen to take little risk to compensate for one or more casualties, rather than requiring launch providers to make costly technical or mission design changes,” the researchers stressed in the study.

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