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Should nations become more responsible when firing things into orbit?

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Established Member
1 Feb 2017
Given the fact that there is currently a large piece of a rocket tumbling back to earth, with no firm estimate of where it will hit, as well as it being rather large, I have to ask.

Since this isn't the first time something like this has happened, should it be a warning that nations should take particular care when firing things into orbit, as well as controlling the debris? As space exploration continues and more things fire into orbit, the risk of something catastrophic remains greater.

Debris from a Chinese rocket is expected to fall back to Earth in an uncontrolled re-entry this weekend.
The main segment from the Long March-5b vehicle was used to launch the first module of China's new space station last month.
At 18 tonnes it is one of the largest items in decades to have an undirected dive into the atmosphere.
The US on Thursday said it was watching the path of the object but currently had no plans to shoot it down.
"We're hopeful that it will land in a place where it won't harm anyone," US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said. "Hopefully in the ocean, or someplace like that."
Various space debris modelling experts are pointing to late Saturday or early Sunday (GMT) as the likely moment of re-entry. However, such projections are always highly uncertain.
There is also a rather helpful graphic on that article which shows New York, Lagos, Rio, Beijing and Sydney being in it's path.
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RailUK Forums


Veteran Member
Associate Staff
General Discussion
Railtours & Preservation
Modelling & Games
15 Apr 2016
It is a bit late. There is loads of stuff floating about up there that will one day return to earth

Some kind of hat might be in order.


Established Member
26 Oct 2015
Hampshire (nearly a Hog)
Elon Musk is in the early stages of his "Starlink" project which aims to launch a very large number (up to 30,000) satellites into low earth orbit to capture some of the internet market. He is going ahead despite the concerns of astronomers that they will interfere with their work - see:


The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is voicing concerns about the risk that SpaceX's Starlink and other planned massive satellite constellations in low Earth orbit pose to astronomy.

The group, most famous for its role in "demoting" Pluto from the rank of planet, represents more than 13,000 astronomers worldwide. In its statement, released yesterday (June 3), the IAU pointed out that while there are several megaconstellations under development, no one knows quite what consequences such huge numbers of low Earth orbit satellites could have on astronomy.

"The organisation, in general, embraces the principle of a dark and radio-quiet sky as not only essential to advancing our understanding of the Universe of which we are a part, but also as a resource for all humanity and for the protection of nocturnal wildlife," the statement reads. "We do not yet understand the impact of thousands of these visible satellites scattered across the night sky and despite their good intentions, these satellite constellations may threaten both."
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